Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin took to the podium on Wednesday afternoon to address the media in his weekly press conference. As Curtin and the club prepare for a Friday night clash with Orlando City, we give you three takeaways from his media session.
The Union will have their first National TV game of the year on Friday against Orlando City. Last year the Union finished with a .500 record when playing on either ESPN or Fox Sports. With the entire country having their eyes on Philadelphia this Friday, Coach Curtin addressed the motivation behind the players having the spotlight on them.
“We have a fresh opportunity against Orlando who is coming off of back-to-back weeks of last-second wins,” Curtin said. “We know they have confidence coming in. Friday night game on National TV, I think the guys will have motivation.
Ready for Takeoff
Fafa Picault and David Accam started on the pitch for the first time this past Saturday. On the night, the offense created 23 shots, and the two speedsters on the outside created several opportunities for the Union throughout the match. When Coach Curtin was asked about the development of his wingers, particularly Accam, he emphasized that he knows what the offseason signing can do in this league.
“I know his (Accam’s) quality; I know he’s going to break out. It’s not a situation where we want to put pressure on guys, because we have multiple ways where we can hurt you now,” Curtin said. “At the winger position with Fafa (Picault) with David (Accam), we like what we have in terms of the fear it instills in the opposition to outside backs and center backs.”
Jack Continues to Shine
On Wednesday Coach Curtin confirmed that defender Jack Elliott will be making his 34th consecutive MLS regular-season start. For a guy who was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Elliott has come a long way for the club and has been one of the best finds in the league as of late. For Curtin, the skills Elliott possesses are worth talking about.
“First and foremost he will start again, barring injury. He’s been a real revelation for us starting when he got his first opportunity to start on the field. We knew he played holding midfielder in college, so what you see now is a real unique skill set.” Curtin said. “His feet in MLS for a holding midfielder would be considered very good, for a center back its top in the league, his range of passing is as good as any center back in the league.”