Jim Curtin took the stand on Saturday evening after his team held on to a 1-0 victory against their rivals. Here's a recap of Jim's answers.
He first mentioned the 7 games in 19 days being difficult for the team. Regardless, "all things considered, with the amount of games that we've played, to be at .500 right now is a good spot to be in". Jim echoed his overall pleasure for the team grinding through this stretch and putting themselves in their current position.
Jim also spoke highly about New York's talent, as well as their decision to play a 4-4-2 diamond. Coach went on to say that the diamond was something that he "was curious to see our group match up against".
The Union found themselves in a different situation tonight, as they took an early lead with Burke's goal. Jim discussed the importance of playing ahead and how it fits his team's style. "We're a team that needs to play from ahead, we're not built to come back and score multiple goals and chase the game. We're built to score first and defend very well as a team. As teams open up, we can kill them off in counter attacks".
Blake's health was a concern tonight, especially when he's posting the six shut outs this season. Jim mentioned the worry of seeing Andre and Jack going down, but he then went on to discuss Blake's progression as a leader. Curtin stated, "The way he talks more, the way he motivates guys, the way he keeps players going, and keeps them positive. He's taking a bigger leadership role each and every year and this year's been his best so far."
After mentioning that Ale seemed to just have cramps at the end of the game, Jim continued to praise his team's production and how difficult it is for other teams to score against their defensive-minded unit.
Next, I wanted to discuss Jose Martinez's suspension, and how his team's depth stepped up during his 3 game absence. Furthermore, the resiliency they showed to grab points despite Brujo not in the lineup. Curtin first mentioned Jose's aggressiveness leading to the mistake, but then he went on to say his view on Leon Flach. Coach stated, "Leon Flach can step in there and play as a 6 and dominate games and stop the best attackers usually on the other team, which is their number 10."
Jim ended his questioning by once again praising his team, but also stating how they're looking forward to getting some rest. The Union will now have 1 week before their matchup against DC United. Despite a slow start to MLS play, the Union have collected 8 points and are sitting in the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference.
- Mike Barrera