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Quote Sheet: Union vs. Portland

POST-MATCH QUOTES: Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers 5.25.19

Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin
Opening statements
Overall, rough night. I thought we actually started the game very well, first 25 minutes was strong. We had a couple mistakes, self-inflicted mistakes and lost our footing a little bit and got punished by a quality opponent. It’s a difficult lesson; I thought we pushed in the second half in a really good way. At 2-1, had enough chances to get the second goal, just wasn’t our night in terms of finishing up plays. We won’t allow things to get negative at this point, we’ve done a lot of good hard work, the players emptied their tank. It’s still a very exciting group, just made a couple mistakes in key moments tonight and got punished. It’s our first loss in seven games, it’s hard, we’ll learn from it, but we have a quick turnaround which is a good thing, and we have Colorado [Rapids] at home on Wednesday, so I’m fully confident that we’ll have a very strong response from the group. This feels tough, and we’re disappointed, but some nights when there is quality in the final third, you get punished and tonight was one of those nights.

On Marco Fabian’s status...
I think Marco has a ton of quality and I still think Brenden Aaronson has done an exceptional job in his place. Tonight was a little bit unfortunate, we just needed a change at halftime. It wasn’t due to Brenden’s play at all, we just needed to shift formation and take some risk down 2-0. Marco is coming off of the injury; he wants to be one hundred percent and ready to go. I think he’s inching closer to that and obviously is a key player for us and one we’re eager to get back as well because he can change how a defense approaches things. It will be close for Wednesday, but we hope to have him back.

On if teams are more physical with Brenden Aaronson...
Yeah, he does a good job of putting defenders off balance, he gets away from them and I thought he still had a very good first half. They are going to be physical with him. They are going to kick him and foul him, but I think it is still a growing situation and a learning experience for each and every time he goes on the field. Listen, Diego Chara is the best defensive midfielder our league has and I think you saw that tonight. He is so important to everything the Timbers do. He allows the others to be free on the break and in transition. Brenden [Aaronson] played against one of the top number sixes in the League and I thought he still found really good pockets of space, did a good job turning, and made the defense uncomfortable. It is another night where he learns a little bit more and again this is a hard result for us, but I still think we will be better and learn from it. We will watch the tape, we know the mistakes that we made and we got punished for them. There is room for improvement.

On if he is worried about tonight’s result...
Look, if we were not creating chances I would sit up here and be a little bit nervous, but we had 18 shots. You look at the look Kacper [Przybylko] had at 2-1 and the look Jamiro [Monteiro] has right after and again some night it doesn’t go in, it bounces a little bit against you. We ran into a really good team that was great on the counter attack. I still think when we pushed the game in the second half and the way we started the game, it was still on our terms, but there are certain night where you have to give credit to your opponent. [Portland Timbers] scored three really clinical goals off of mistakes that we made and some nights that happens. We have room to clean things up, we will watch a lot of tape, we will work hard and the good thing it is a quick turnaround to Wednesday. There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We will get back out there and push for three points against Colorado [Rapids].

Forward Kacper Przybylko
On his thoughts of the match...

It feels like last week. We lost two points last week and today was the same. I also take it on my back that we lost the game today because I had a second great chance. I took it very risky, but the first ball that went in was lucky and unlucky on the second chance.

On his team’s issues in the final third...
It's not a big excuse now to say that we created a lot of chances again, but finally we have to work on hitting the net. It feels really bad today that we lost the game and we were close to changing the game. Unfortunately not, but our luck is that the next game is on Wednesday. We don’t have a long time to wait for the next game to make better on our chances.

On the amount of chances his team had...
I think there was maybe more than three or four. In the first half, three or four chances and in the second half there was also the same. We have to work on it and do it like Portland. They had like four, five chances and they scored three goals. This is soccer; if you don’t score your goals then you will be punished on the defense.

On Portland Timber’s performance...
Compliments to Portland. They punished us; they did it well in scoring the goals, so they deserve the three points. We don’t deserve it because we didn’t score.

On his team’s attitude going forward...
We lost the game after we have had a couple successful weeks. It’s now important to keep our head up and we create the chances, we play good, have good possession, don’t force it like a great team. Now we lost one game, but the league is long so Wednesday is our next chance. We cannot say we were very bad today; we had our chances, so now we have to give positive energy for the next game.

Midfielder Michee Ngalina
On his Major League Soccer debut...
It was great, I am happy to get in my first MLS game. I think we did well, but I am sad we lost in my first MLS game.

On Jim Curtin’s message to him...
He told me to give it my all, to work hard and that’s it.

On building towards the next match...
I just try to work hard and push myself. I was nervous getting in, but I will continue to push and give heart.


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