Jim Curtin Press Conference pre New England Revolution
Jim Curtin is excited for the tough test of the New England Revolution on Wednesday evening.
The Revs sit second in the Eastern conference after four games, and Curtin was complimentary of the Union's next opponents.
Curtin said: "When you watch New England in all the games they've played this season, they're the best team that we've scouted.
"They're playing very well, and I think they're one of the strongest teams in our conference and the league. We will have our hands full."
One of New England's most important players has been midfielder Carles Gil. The Spaniard led their playoff charge last season, and the Union coach is aware of the challenges he will present on Wednesday.
Curtin said: "Carles Gil is one of the most under-appreciated players in our league. I think he's a top player and is special in all that he does."
"He's just so dangerous."
Philadelphia faced New England on six occasions last season, but the most important one came in the playoffs.
The Union had been unbeaten against the Revolution in their previous 10 games until their 2-0 playoff defeat.
Curtin understands that the pain of the loss is still lingering but that it is a new season. The defeat will be left in the past, and he is keen to look forward.
He said: "It hurts when a team ends your season, it stays with you, and it hurts for a while. However, that happens in sports. It's a new year and challenge for us."
"It'll be a tough match, but last season has gone at this point."
The Union got their first MLS win of the season on the road at Chicago at the weekend but are still winless at home.
After going unbeaten at home last season, Curtin's side has opened up the 2021 season with successive home losses. That is a feeling that is unusual to his squad, but he is keen to get back on track on Wednesday.
Curtin said: "It's a big week for us. We have a really strong New England team coming in. We've played confidence at home, but we've had things go against us.
"We didn't lose a regular-season game at home last year, so we weren't used to that feeling. The players don't like the feeling, and we don't want it again."
On Tuesday morning, the Union announced the signing of Hungarian international Daniel Gazdag from Budapest Honved.
The 25-year-old will join the squad soon, and Curtin could not hide his excitement about getting his new signing on the pitch. He was full of praise for the versatility he will bring to the Union.
He said: "His ability speaks for itself. He fits our locker room in the sense that he did everything his team needed this year. If they needed goals, he played as a second striker and got goals. He can play as a 10, he can play as an eight, and he's very versatile.
"His skill set fits the Philadelphia Union, and he will be an instant boost to our team. He's an incredible player that I'm excited to work with."
17-year-old midfielder Jack McGlynn made his first start in the win over Chicago on Saturday. The youngster impressed and received praise from his manager for his composure and hard work.
"McGlynn, for his age, was brave. We want to try and empower our players to step up on the field and not be scared. What I've seen on the ball is that he has a wand of a left foot that can do anything.
"What I was most happy with was his ability to slide across and make a tackle, or a block was something that was needed in the game and isn't the big thing on the stat sheet. However, it's something we're proud of as coaches."
The city of Philadelphia has announced that they will be lifting all COVID-19 restrictions in June. Meaning all sports stadiums will be allowed to be at maximum capacity.
Curtin is already excited for that day and knows how big of a boost it will be to have a sold-out Subaru Park.
He said: "We can't wait to make every fan proud and to have every seat full. We know that when that happens, we're really tough to beat."