His team knocked off New England Revolution after a video review, and Jim Curtin said after the match that the win showed why it is important to remember what you’re taught at a young age.
Can’t stop won’t stop
“My first reaction as to what was going on… is it felt like a WWF moment,” Curtin began. “That's the way it felt. You had a guy over here celebrating a goal, you had people confused, the DOOP thing didn't go off, there was just confusion in the whole entire stadium. And then Haris is getting the crowd fired up, and it was, I'd say... organized chaos? I don't know how to really describe it.”
Cory Burke’s celebration looked premature after the offsides flag went up, but when VAR ruled the goal should stand, it became clear that the Jamaican striker was in the right.
“You hear it from the age of 5,” Jim Curtin said after the match, “Play to the whistle. So again, credit to Cory, he was the only one that kept going, maybe, in the whole stadium. There was a moment, because I was next to the linesman, who was certain of himself that it was offsides, where now you're almost embarrassed for Cory, who is taking his shirt off and is on his knees looking up to the heavens.”
Curtin said he had a brief conversation with the linesman after the flag went up. “The linesman put his flag up and I just gave the 'Are you sure?' And he said he was 100% sure it was offsides, turns out it wasn't.
“But it was a goal, and it was a big goal. And it won us a game. It was a strange night in that regard.”
Team of closers
Curtin was particularly impressed with how his team finished out the match. With New England surging, the Union held on for the win.
“These are the types of games where maybe in the past we had letdowns,” Curtin admitted, “[and] didn't close things out. We've been a team, and you can go through the data on this — and I don't want to jinx things — but when we do get a lead, we're closing out games. It's tough for teams to break us down,
“Helps to have Andre Blake behind you, but at the same time I think it shows some growth from the organization.”
Haris the hypeman
During the VAR review, Haris Medunjanin was extremely animated. He ran over to the New England bench, ran back to the center, spoke with Luis Caicedo, and threw his hands in the air to get the crowd going.
“Haris was competitive tonight,” Curtin said understatedly. “I think when you get man-marked and chased around the field like he did, maybe some contact here and there, it raised his emotions a bit.
“But he did it in a way that was right on the edge. That fine line of... you're controlled, but you're also able to frustrate the guy you're playing against.
“I was just reminding Haris to stay calm,” Curtin continued. “You could tell some players were trying to bait him into doing something not smart, and he — to his credit — kept his composure in a hard spot, and we get out with 3 points, which is key.”
Medunjanin and the Union next face DC United on the road this Wednesday at Audi Field.