Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin spoke to the media Saturday afternoon following a 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew SC. Here are three takeaways from his press conference:
The game against Columbus Crew SC gave Philadelphia Union fans their first look at the new No. 10 for the club, Borek Dockal. The Czech did well in his first match for the Boys in Blue, but Coach Curtin knows it was only the midfielder’s first step and looks forward to what he can contribute to the attack in the future.
“I think he had some good moments, you can see his quality and how comfortable he is on the ball,” Curtin said. “Overall it’s a first step, and again nothing can replicate these games. He’s an incredibly talented guy, we have to do a better job of putting him on the ball more, but overall for a first opening performance, he was solid.”
Back four shine in 0-0 draw
One of the main reasons for the 0-0 draw against the Crew was the stellar play of the backline. Despite several talented attackers for Columbus creating dangerous plays, the Union’s back four stood tall when the Crew threatened.
The backline also showed how well they can adjust, especially after Ray Gaddis replaced Fabinho at halftime. It was a test that that any good defense has to adjust to, and the Union backline didn’t bend after the change. Coach Curtin was proud of his young defense today, especially the center back pairing of Auston Trusty and Jack Elliot. Trusty and Elliott were aggressive offensively, as both of them really helped push the attack.
“Trusty and Elliott were very connected, and did a good job with Zardes,” Curtin said. “You have a lot of situations where you have to make split-second decisions, you have to communicate things quickly so overall, as a young backline I was very happy they held up.”
Accam’s speed always a threat
David Accam is considered one of the fastest wingers in MLS, but it’s also his ability on the defensive side that makes him an all-around player. Accam really showed his all hands-on-deck mentality, as he made several defensive challenges and created relentless pressure on Columbus’ offense. With just two games under Accam’s belt with the club, Coach Curtin wants to create more chances for the speedy winger offensively.
“We’re very happy with David, I thought he put in a ton of defensive work, it is 90 minutes under his belt with a new team, with new teammates,” Curtin said.