Philadelphia Union fell to Sporting Kansas City on the road on Sunday, but the team’s compactness and aggression suggested growth from the opening match against Toronto.
“I think not many teams come into this building into a home opener environment, and have the amount of ball, have the amount of chances that we did," head coach Jim Curtin said post-match. Ale Bedoya echoed those sentiments, adding: “This game was an improvement over the one in Toronto in terms of being defensively compact and hitting them on the counter," he said. "I thought we turned them over in their half a bunch in the first half."
Curtin also didn’t shy away from questions about fan patience, and told Philly Soccer Page he still has enormous pride in his team and believes fans should be proud of how they looked on Sunday.
Here are Jim Curtin’s full comments after the match.
If you missed the game — Andre Blake’s 100th for the Union — here are the extended highlights.
And for those with only a moment to spare, check out the quick version here.
Bethlehem Steel FC opened their 2019 schedule at Birmingham Legion on Sunday, and former Union academy and Villanova University star Zach Zandi got them started in style.
The Union are back on the road next weekend when they travel to Atlanta to face the defending champs. The Five Stripes are only one point ahead of Philly after drawing 1-1 with expansion side FC Cincinnati yesterday.
Although the goals aren’t flowing for Philly, they continue to generate good chances. Matt Doyle points out that the Union have the best xG in the league so far, and at some point expect the finishing to catch up to that number.