Picault vs. Montreal

QUOTE SHEET: Union vs. Montreal Impact

Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin

Opening statement…

A disappointing performance from the whole group after coming off a high of our strongest performance against Dallas we had a half, the first half of the game, where we don't give up a ton, maybe they have a little possession, but we don't concede a lot of chances. Again, our response in the second half was a good one, we start the half well, create a few opportunities. The fine line and the fine margins in this league, we have a good look in front of the goal, ball goes off the post, and from there, [Laurent] Ciman hits a good diagonal, [Daniel] Lovitz just gets a piece of it, Josh [Yaro] has a half chance to maybe clear it, our recovery sprints aren't what they should be to cover the box, and it deflects perfectly to a top player and he buries it. So, difficult from that standpoint, obviously chasing the game, we give up a couple of silly goals at the end which is disappointing from the group, but we have to pick ourselves up and bounce back against San Jose. We know what we're capable of, but again, to maintain that over the course of the 90 minutes was disappointing tonight.

On how difficult it was to defend Montreal's strong attack…

We talked about it all week and, for the most part, especially the first half, we did very well on [Ignacio] Piatti, you know. Ciman's a great passer and, again, that one, when you look back at it, we're a little bit too far pinched in and again, Lovitz almost, as he's falling down, reaches down and just kills it enough to keep it in his stride, so again, in that first half very good. Second half, the 25 minutes, we do a good job limiting them. Don't give up a lot of good looks, and then, you know, we have the opportunity and we don't take it and they take theirs. Again, overall [Blerim] Dzemaili's a great player. Again, you can see his quality in front of goal and he punished us tonight, but a lot of things on that goal that we could have prevented and also Montreal makes a good play.

On what they could have done better defensively on Montreal's first goal…

I mean, listen, again, when Ciman hits the diagonal, our alarm bells needed to go off a little a quicker. In the midfield we could have dropped to that dangerous area which is the penalty area. That's where we talk about our recovery sprints and everyone getting to their spots, centerbacks getting to the six when the ball gets wide. Josh gets there, kind of misclears it and, on the night, lucky for them that it bounces right to their most dangerous guy who we lost track of on one play and he punishes us. Again, we'll look at the tape, we'll have to learn from it and get better.

On the energy and urgency from the team…

Overall I thought, in the first half, they have quality players, too, so they did play out of some pressure. We weren't able to get as close as we would like to them, but still it was a little too end-to-end in the first half. Again, we're not built to go in these track meet type games, they have a couple of guys that can pull off a play in space, and overall it was a high intensity game. Both teams were physical, they were tight to us, they closed us down, again they're a solid team and we didn't have the urgency, I thought, over the course of the 90 minutes and, again, it comes down to taking your chances. We had a few good looks in the first half, a few real good looks in the second half, and we didn't score. So again, now we concede and we're chasing the game and, again, we struggle chasing games from behind.

On what can be done to get Chris Pontius and Fafa Picault going…

We ask them to stay high and try and clear space for Ilsinho and for [Alejandro Bedoya]. Again, we kept the ball and passed it around, but it wasn't with a lot of purpose and our final ball wasn't what it needed to be, we'd get in dangerous spots and the cut back or the final pass, the final cross, wasn't the right decision. So again, we had opportunities at home, but the shots inside the box need to hit the target, we didn't do that enough tonight. They made a couple plays in front of goal, a couple of handball shouts, but on the night, overall, we weren't good enough in what was a big game and now we have to chase. We no longer really control our own destiny, we're going to need help and we're going to need to do some things on the road that we haven't done this year. Are we capable of that? Yes, but did we just make it difficult on ourselves? Absolutely.

On the difference in Jack Elliott's distribution when on the left side…

For sure, you know, the angles are different. He's not as comfortable on his left foot, you can see the tendency to come back on the right, it's something we asked him to do tonight and he's a professional. He did a solid job, but yeah. The passing angles for sure are different when you shift to that side, especially for a right footed player. The thinking there is Josh is one who has pretty much always played on the right hand side. Jack has done it in college and even with us now a couple times, but I think it is more natural for him to play on the right side.

Philadelphia Union defender Raymon Gaddis

On if there was a difference in energy and urgency between last week's game and tonight's…

No, not really. Soccer is a fickle game, we go from hitting the post, thought we came out in the second half and came out on the right foot. Just not the result we wanted tonight.

On if there is frustration from not being able to create offensive momentum…

Like I said, we came out on the right foot. Second half we hit the post, we had them pinned back up until the goal, which changed the momentum of the game. I'll have to disagree with you right there.

On what the backline says to John McCarthy about all the pressure he is facing…

John did his job. We're a team, we win together, we lose together, but John did his job on the night.

Closing statement…

I just want to send, from our organization and our team, our condolences to Kenny. He's a vital part of why the team is here and why we have a team, a franchise, in Philadelphia. I'll end on that note.

Philadelphia Union defender Josh Yaro

On must-win games…

Every game from now is. I think the team overall takes pride in winning. So far the past few games has been good especially at home and we’re coming expecting to collect the maximum amount of points, but it's unfortunate for us.

On Montreal’s first goal…

[Montreal] crossed the ball in, it was behind me so I flicked it and [Dzemaili] was right on the 18 [yard box] and shot it.

On mentality as play develops on Montreal's first goal…

I have to protect between the goal and the 18 [yard box] so anything in front of me. Unfortunately, the ball was behind me. I was hoping someone was going to be there to collect it but it's unfortunate. It that case we are taught to what I did. It was unfortunate [Montreal] had a few men there.

On the mentality coming into the game…

We all knew the importance of the game. We all knew what we had to do. I think we know what is at stake and from now on. I think we came on with the mentality that we know we are going to win. I think it's fair to say we went out there trying our best and sometimes good enough is not good enough and I think this is one of those nights.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin

Thoughts on the game…

We played not as a team especially in the second half. We gave them too much space and they're a good tactical team. They have a lot of experience guys, they know when to hold the ball and when to attack and that's what we missed. It's difficult. This was an opportunity to be closer to the playoffs and we gave it away, especially at home. The first half I think we played a good half. We had the ball a lot but the final pass was not there tonight. The second half we hit the post one time with Giliano [Wijnaldum]. I think they deserved to win, especially in the second half . They showed us how we need to play, how you need to defend as a team and how you need to attack as a team. We didn't show that in the second half.

On the team’s road struggles…

We need to win games on the road. We've won just one game this season away. If we want to play in the playoffs you need to win games on the road.

Montreal Impact midfielder Blerim Dzemaili

On the road performance…

Yes, first half was not so perfect. The second, they hit the balls at the post and that was like a wake up call for us. We woke up and I don’t think that the first 60 minutes were so so good. I think that we played better than the other away games, but I don’t think that it was perfect. Obviously after the 1-0 everything was easier and then it was perfect.

On what sets his game apart…

I just read the game. That is what makes me one second earlier than my opponent. I just try to always read the game before. This is what I try to do and it is how I score the first goal. Obviously [my] second goal was a very good shot. A very, very, nice goal. I think the first goal was very important to be there, to have confidence that this ball is going to come. The ball came and this situation for me is perfect. I love when I come from behind. I score most of my goals like this. I think I am first of all happy for the team. We won two in a row and I think we have to continue like this.

On what has made his adjustment to MLS easier…

You can see it also with Samuel. When someone comes from Europe, tacitly the person does not need a lot of time. You can read the game and I think for us I think we are maybe a little more physically strong compared to the younger guys here. That makes the difference. For me I do this job because I love it. I love to play futbal, I just want to play. Every game I go out there I go to enjoy, to have fun. I don’t think too much and maybe that makes the difference.

On playing alongside Piatti…

Of course, when you have two players like this, maybe it is easier because the opponent does not know who to take. Like this we have space. Nacho is a very big player and he helps the team a lot with his passes and his goals. I think that everyone can do even more. We need to keep going. We just won two games and we have a lot of games to go. We just need to continue like this.

Montreal Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier

On getting hot at the right time…

Look, the game at home last week was very important, it was to stabilize because we were in a bad period. Today, to get two wins in a row, I think is the second time this season and this is the perfect time to get going, to start moving because we know we have a few home games and it is vital for us to be peaking at the right time.

On Piette’s first match…

He played really well. He recovers, he is very solid, he doesn’t lose the ball and he also grouped down a lot of plays that usually in the past they would have been counterattacks and he was able to make that right tackle to really allow us to regain the ball, the possession. He is a young player and he is the type of profile that I think we didn’t have in the past, where it gives the older guys a chance to have a breather a bit. I am happy for him because he has proven it, he has played well at the national team level and now he is at the premier level at MLS and it was a great game, but he is 22 and I am sure we have a lot more to see from him.

On his impact…

He is that type of player that we were a bit lacking, he can crash into the box. We have been comparing him a bit to a style of Frank Lampard. He can come in and get those vital goals because a lot of times it is the three guys up front that go. Of course myself and Samuel Piette and Dominic Oduro and those other guys that are built from the back, but he is that guy that is able to come in and be fourth element around the box and he is also a good passer. He is able to get that last pass and like we saw today, two great goals. I think he has six goals in ten or eleven starts since he has been here. It is fantastic to have another player that can contribute because it is not all Matteo Mancosu or Oduro’s feet.

On getting in a rhythm…

We needed the veteran players to step up. We did it at the home game, Nacho, we needed to step up our game so that the team follows and we are being a lot more fluid in our play, a lot more confident and we trust each other on the field which is what we have not done in the past. We played a little bit more direct, we are a lot more composed, and allows those guys, I am pretty sure Matteo [Mancosu] will find that because he is contributing in other ways he will find those chances and like Dominic [Oduro] also we are happy that and Nacho are scoring.


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