Quote Sheet: Union vs. DC United

Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin 

Opening statement...
"Obviously, a very strong team performance on the road in a tough place to play. I think for a little bit there, it was an even game. Obviously, Haris [Medunjanin] scores a great goal and had a couple of assists--a big night from him. I thought all of our guys had a really strong performance, but it starts first and foremost with the deep defending--the team defending. Three clean sheets in a row now is something we take pride in. We said in the pregame talk that this group really turned the corner in the Red Bull game. We've been through about as difficult of a time and as difficult of a stretch as we can go through and I think we're stronger because of it. You can tell it's a group that was fighting for each other on the field and I thought that was a complete performance for 90 minutes."

On Haris Medunjanin's performance...
"Haris [Medunjanin] was excellent. Obviously, the goal was special--the goal that he takes from a distance was a great goal. It takes a lot to beat Bill Hamid and for him to score from that distance, it obviously takes a special effort. The goals that he set up were excellent as well. His passes to [Fafà] Picault--the fake he makes on that one to then set up Fafà, the cross on the corner kick was big time. Again, you can talk about all of Haris' attacking plays, but I thought on the night he was excellent defensively against [Luciano] Acosta, who is one of the most dangerous guys in our league. We were able to frustrate him and obviously that was the key to the game. That's two weeks in a row now where there was Sacha Kljestan and now Luciano--two of the best attacking guys and we've done a good job neutralizing them, so really happy with that from the group."

On facing D.C. United on the road...
"In this building, you feel like leads are never safe because Benny's teams never quit--they continue to go and push and there's been a lot of difficult ones in this building. To get up a man, I thought that the guys handled it very professionally. Once Ilsinho kind of cramped up, [Fabian] Herbers came in and did a really good job. Warren Creavalle came in and did a good job and closed the game. Andre [Blake] didn't have to make a ton of saves, so I think everybody did their job defensively. It's a good D.C. team..."

On Onyewu's goal...
"It was a great header and he really attacked it well. I think that was the loudest the building got--he must have had a lot of people here for sure, because it got loud when he scored. I'm happy for Gooch [Onyewu]. He's been a real leader in our locker room. He has more than overachieved and has done a great job of giving us a ton of leadership for our young guys...he has done a heck of a job leading our young centrebacks, leading our team, he's been through the battles, he's been through the wars and for him to get a goal was something special."

Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake

On recording the shutout...
"As a goalkeeper, I can take some of those nights. I remember a few weeks back I was talking to Johnny [McCarthy] and was like hey, if we have 35 games and I get zero shots and all shutouts, then I'll take that. It's good--the guys are doing very well and it's making my job easier, so I just need to make sure that whenever something is coming my way, I'm in the right mindset and ready to make a save."

On the team's mindset and level of confidence...
"It's good. We never stop believing in what we can do and dating back to last year, we know what this team has got. Just at the start of the season, things weren't really going our way and it's good that we're starting to get on a run. I think all of the guys know that there's a lot more that we can do, so we've just got to go back to training, keep working hard and get ready for the next game."

On Onyewu and his performance...
"He's good. He's a great guy, he's very experienced and with me seeing the game from back there and giving him some guidance here and there, it's working and we're doing well right now."

On what it has taken to improve...
"I think we're just working a little harder and everyone is committed to defending and I think we all get that it's going to take 11 to defend. We all understand that there are no plays off and we've just got to work as hard as we can on the defensive side of things."

United head coach Ben Olsen

On how the game changed throughout the match and with the red card…

“I thought the first half was pretty fractured with a lot of set pieces and the physicality. I think the Union’s number six [Medunjanin] hit a pretty heavy ball and Bill [Hamid] probably got screened. The second half changed, and I thought we were okay, but then the red card changed the game, and you know what happened from then on.”

On not being overly concerned…

“I’m not concerned. We have three or four guys out and we have a good portion of the season left. We have a good group, but we have to play better. It doesn’t get any easier with Chicago coming to town. But I’ll let you know when it’s panic time. We’re very far away from that.”

D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum

On the red card changing the game...
“We’re not really worried about it. We’re going to respond next weekend. Obviously the red card hurt us and changed the whole game. We were chasing the game at that point, so it’s tough to overcome that deficit.”

On playing along the backline and his health...
“I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do. I felt fine today and I felt healthy. Have to get a good week of practice in and prepare for Chicago.”

On the team having what it takes to rebound...
“We have a veteran group here and guys who have been through this league before and know the ups and downs. We want to take care of business at home, and it’s obviously disappointing, but we’re not worried. We just have to work through a few things this week, and we’ll be better on both sides of the ball execution wise.”

United defender Taylor Kemp

On the red card hurting...
“I mean obviously the red card hurt us, but I think we had a couple of chances to get back in the game. We have to give credit to them because they scored some pretty good goals tonight. But we have to find a way to do better. Even when we were down I think they dropped off, and we could have kept the ball but gave it away in some bad spots. We have to look ourselves in the mirror a little bit because that’s now two losses at home, and we got shut out both times. We have to get back to the drawing board and figure out how to score some goals and keep them out of our own net.”

On the issue of not scoring...
“Yeah that’s concerning for sure. Some of it is that we’ve had a rotating cast up there, but that still shouldn’t happen at the magnitude that it is. It’s not just on our forwards… we have to create better chances through better possession and get them in better spots. It’s a team wide problem, but right now we just have to figure out a way to get things better.”

 


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