Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin spoke with the media ahead of his sides home game against Columbus Crew on Wednesday night.
The Union head into the game after a dramatic 2-2 draw away at Atlanta United. Jakob Glesnes' goal stole the show, but Curtin was delighted with the way his players were able to keep their heads up and continue fighting for what could prove to be a vital point.
"Our players really stuck with things and were able to respond quickly after they scored their second goal. Then we hung around long enough for Jakob [Glesnes] to make a special play. It was a very memorable goal and probably a goal of the year candidate.
"Overall, it shows the character of this group. It was only one point, but that game meant more than one because we now believe that no matter if we go down a couple of goals, we can stay in there even with the best teams."
The Union's opponents on Wednesday are current MLS Cup Champions Columbus Crew. The two sides met on the first day of the season, drawing 0-0.
Heading into this game, Columbus sit just a point behind Philadelphia, and Curtin knows that they will present problems for the Union all over the pitch.
"When you talk about Columbus, Caleb [Porter] does a great job with them straight up the spine of their team. With their good goalkeeping, with [Jonathan] Mensah, [Darlington] Nagbe, [Lucas] Zelarayan, and [Gyasi] Zardes. Right up the middle, they have a ton of quality, and on the outside, they have a lot of pace and are really dangerous."
Wednesday's game will also be a day in which fans have been waiting for a long time. Subaru Park will be back at maximum capacity for the first time in over 18 months. The 42-year-old could not hide his excitement at getting supporters back in the stadium to cheers his side on.
"It feels like a grand opening, and I can't wait to have a packed house and have the stadium at full capacity."
After Sunday's game against Atlanta, the Union had some injury doubts. Sergio Santos was substituted at half-time with a potential concussion, amongst other knocks. Curtin also confirmed that Anthony Fontana would miss the game against the Crew.
Curtin was able to provide an update on both players, with it being a mixed injury report.
"We had to take him out at half-time (Sergio Santos), not because he had a concussion, but the possibility that he had a concussion. He is cleared and ready to go now. We wanted to be safe in that situation. He will be cleared and ready for the game.
"Anthony Fontana did pick up a concussion in that game [vs Atlanta] towards the very end when he has a little bit of a collision and falls in a weird way. We believe that was the impact that caused that."
Curtin also provided an update regarding the injury that forced Daniel Gazdag to pull out of Euro 2020. The new signing pulled out of the tournament due to a knee injury, and Curtin provided positive news on that front.
"The MRI came back, and it's positive news as there's no real structural damage. It'll at the most be another week, and maybe even less kind of injury, and then it becomes pain tolerance. There's a little bit of fluid in the knee, but apart from that, everything structurally is good, which is a relief."