Philadelphia Union are headed to the semifinals of the MLS is Back Tournament after defeating Sporting Kansas City by a 3-1 margin. Below are our UNIBET Pressing Points from Head Coach Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference.
Brace for Santos
When the 2020 preseason kicked off all eyes were on the Brazilian forward who had shown glimpses of his potential up top late in the 2019 season. After bagging the winning goal against New England, Santos followed up the performance tonight with two goals and an assist in the victory.
“Sergio Santos is a very unique player,” Curtin said. “We were joking about how much he impacted the team last year and only started five games when you go back and look at it. Part of that was injuries and part of that was fitness, but tonight you saw just how much he can change a game.”
Santos changed the game just moments after Jamiro Monteiro opened the scoring, utilizing his top weapon to chase down a poor touch by Sporting KC to double the lead.
“You can’t teach speed; you can’t teach decision making on breakaways,” Curtin said of his forward. “His ability to stretch a defense is really good. He ran so hard in that first half that I think he felt sick at half time, that is the reason we had to take him out.”
Lock down Gaddis
While the defense once again was able to keep the Union’s lead in the tournament, Curtin pointed out that outside back Ray Gaddis has been playing at a Best XI level while in Orlando. The veteran who surpassed 200 career starts earlier in the tournament been active on both ends of the pitch but has forced the opposition to change their attack countless times.
“If there is a Best Xl for this competition, or whatever it might be, I think he has to be on it, because it is five games now that he shuts down the entire left hand side of the opponent,” Curtin said. “It tends to fly under the radar but he is playing at an incredible level both without the ball and with the ball.”
Quote of the Presser:
“First and foremost, an apology to all the wives, girlfriends and kids back home in Philly right now. Please do not blame me. This has to go on your husbands and dads for being good at soccer and prolonging this thing another six days.”