After his team knocked off Chicago Fire to advance to the 2018 US Open Cup final, Jim Curtin spoke about the strength of his young back line and his players’ resolve to win.
Big in back
“I thought that the back line was excellent on the night,” Curtin said before singling out Ray Gaddis for special praise. “Still a lot of young guys back there doing a great job. Keegan [Rosenberry], Jack [Elliott], [Auston] Trusty, and Ray [Gaddis] being kind of the anchor and the experienced guy. I think Ray is playing at his highest level, which is a great thing. Just flies under the radar and goes about his business.
“Overall, players win games.”
Getting that goal
Curtin also spoke about how the outcome represented his team’s ability to withstand difficult outcomes throughout the season and soldier on. “I think it's clear that we've been a team that's played pretty well this year,” Curtin argued. “We've played a lot better than we played tonight and have lost. And tonight maybe wasn't our sharpest and we get a win.”
The Union head coach admitted he had some anxiety after his team had some good looks when up one goal.
“So I was concerned at 1-0 when we missed 3 or 4 pretty good looks, [Richard] Sanchez made a good save on a couple, and you start to have that little bit of doubt creep in. And credit to our players again, they kicked the door down and broke down a Chicago team that obviously had a game also and put a lot of minutes in and pushed the tempo in the second half and maybe ran out of gas a little bit.”
“Schweinsteiger, when you talk about Schweinsteiger you talk about a world class player,” Curtin said. “I thought Haris and Ale did a great job of shadowing him, Borek did a lot of dirty running for us defensively.
“Really important and it's a little thing that maybe flies under the radar, is our center backs' ability to release and go tight to [Nemanja] Nikolic when he drops back or go tight to Schweinsteiger when he comes off, or even [Alexander] Katai when he came inside. That takes a brave center back to do that, especially with players of that quality. I thought they did a great job in that.”
The Union next face New England Revolution this Saturday, August 11, at 7:30PM EST at Gillette Stadium.