Press Conference

Curtin’s press conference: Red Bulls, injuries, and influx of youth

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin took the podium Friday afternoon at Talen Energy Stadium for his weekly press conference with the media. While there was plenty of reflection on Wednesday night’s loss to New York, there was also a look ahead.

Here’s a summary of what the coach had to say.

Opening statement from Jim Curtin
  • It was a disappointing loss. It hurts the team to let down the fans who traveled up to Red Bull Arena.
  • New York came out fast and took it to them.
  • The Red Bull’s opening goal was a soft one. Jack Elliott put Joshua Yaro in a tough spot with the initial pass. Yaro in turn made  a poor one of his own. The ball was actually out of play, which was missed by the assistant referee, as Keegan Rosenberry tried to keep it in.
  • The team responded well in the second half and dictated play.
  • Roland Alberg “had his best performance in a Philadelphia uniform.”
  • Team didn’t have the “killer instinct to kill a very tired group.”
  • Curtin was impressed with the “fearlessness” of his young players without Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya on the field.
  • To register 27 shots and only score once is “tough.”
  • He is happy with how the team is defending as a whole
On how is team is doing with fitness
  • The team is training in somewhat separate groups. The players who went 120 minutes have their own recovery process.
  • On Wednesday, they showed they are the more fit team, and Curtin is “happy with where we’re at in terms of fitness.”
On Maurice Edu
  • At practice, Maurice Edu has done the most in terms of being with the group.
  • Being “able to pass, to move, to change direction” was his biggest step forward. It’s trending positive.
  • It’s been a frustrating process for Edu and the team. He’s still the captain and wants to be on the field.
  • There is still no timeline for his return.
On Derrick Jones
  • “Derrick [Jones] is a guy we’re incredibly high on.”
  • He has the ability to size things up when New York flooded the midfield.
  • Jones is working every day to improve both his short and long passing. It helps to have Haris Medunjanin as a midfield partner.
On Adam Najem
  • He came into a game with “high intensity.” There are only so many games like this in a season, and it is a “teachable moment.”
  • Najem was excellent in the game, coming in and giving an offensive boost.
  • They’ve challenged Najem to provide more goals and assists with the Steel. In the last game he grabbed one of each.
  • He can play the No. 8 or the No. 10. At college he played deeper and did a great job.
On Injuries
  • There’s positive feedback on Andre Blake. He looks fine for the weekend.
  • Fabian Herbers had a great day and will play for Bethlehem this weekend.
  • Ilsinho had a pretty nasty bruise, but it won’t hold him back.
  • C.J. Sapong “gets beat pretty good…took a knock going for an aerial duel…He’s tough, he’s a fighter.” Sapong will be ready for Sunday.
On the Red Bulls’ 3-6-1 formation
  • Rosenberry struggled in the beginning of the match. After halftime, he improved and found himself in the game.
  • It allowed the Red Bulls play through the middle, with Kemar Lawrence and Sal Zizzo offering outlets on the wings.
  • Despite the Union’s struggles in the first half, the formation allowed Philadelphia five or six chances on the counter. With the wingbacks upfield, it created a bunch of 2-v-3 or 2-v-2 opportunities.


  1. Fatigued From the Narrative. says:

    He came into a game with “high intensity.” There are only so many games like this in a season, and it is a “teachable moment.”

    Curtin was impressed with the “fearlessness” of his young players without Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya on the field.

    He’s tough, he’s a fighter.

    didn’t have the “killer instinct.

    It was a disappointing loss…

    “happy with where we’re at in terms of fitness.”

  2. Darth Harvey says:

    Who is Maurice Edu?

    • That is such a sideshow. I stopped thinking Edu would ever play for us again, but it’s still ridiculous. We are approaching a year on with his injury, right?

      I wonder what is REALLY going on.

      Maybe we really do have the worst physios in the league. Or maybe the team decided a long time ago Edu wasn’t needed and both parties agreed to let him sit out the remainder of his contract?

      • Most likely he is recovering from
        an extensive injury and nothing more

      • el Pachyderm says:

        well I did say he was going to be Comeback Player of the Year- so, seems we are running out of time on that one.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      A phantasm.

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