·7 de mayo de 2023
·7 de mayo de 2023
The CONCACAF Champions League did not go as planned for the Philadelphia Union and with those crushed hopes still stinging, the team brought effective – but certainly not pretty – soccer to 'street fight' with the New York Red Bulls.
Union head coach Jim Curtin was pleased with the 1-0 victory Saturday night regardless of how it was attained, calling it 'one of the ugliest games I've seen of the season'.
Their lone goal, a 31st minute penalty by Daniel Gazdag, came after Red Bulls’ Dylan Nealis made contact with Julian Carranza in the box after a gorgeous through ball from Alejandro Bedoya put the striker through on goal.
"There was no soccer tonight. Literally, there was no passing from either team," Curtin said at his postgame press conference. "There was nothing really other than fight. Sometimes when we get together with Red Bull, it's a street fight. You get punched in the mouth.
"Are you gonna get up or are you gonna get scared? I thought we stood up, I thought we punched back. Was it a perfect game? No. Did we play good attacking soccer? No. But again, three points goes a long way for the group right now, and hopefully it instills some confidence."
Now with the rest of the MLS season to focus on, Curtin will be keen for his team to re-find the form they enjoyed last season, when no opponent was safe from the Union as they took 67 points to lead the Eastern Conference, allowing only 26 goals in its net – the lowest in the league.
The Union begins their U.S. Open Cup campaign this Tuesday on the road against Minnesota United, and they’ll follow that with tough games against Colorado, D.C. United and New England with very little down time.
"As much as the Champions League hurt, it's behind us, and it has to be a mentality that we move onto the next game and that's the most important game, so we'll chase league points now like crazy,” Curtin said. “We'll have to keep guys fresh because we lose a handful of them coming up here, but we'll use the full squad and get us back where we want to be, which is towards that top-four teams in the Eastern Conference."
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