Thursday night’s 2-1 to Orlando was an unusually disappointing performance for the Philadelphia Union, but you wouldn’t necessarily have been able to tell that from head coach Jim Curtin’s post-game remarks.
“I thought at the end we maybe deserve the tie out of it but Orlando was a little bit sharper in both of the boxes and that’s the name of the game,” he said.
The Union gave a good fight at the end of the game. Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Union drew one back with a Kacper Przybylko strike off a pass from Olivier Mbaizo. A. crazy scramble at the end of the game nearly resulted in a point for the Union, but a goal line clearance sealed the game for Orlando.
“You know I give the players a ton of credit, obviously we fell behind which is disappointing, but they continue to stick with things and fight for things,” Curtin. said.
Though the team battled back and played well over the final 20 minutes, outplaying the leading Orlando side, for the first 60 minutes it was one of the more difficult performances to. watch for the Union. The defense looked totally lost for Orlando’s two goals, mostly watching as the opposition ran past them and scored. Andre Blake, who will play against the U.S. Sunday in the Gold Cup Quarterfinals for Jamaica, was not there to be the savior for the Union defense Thursday night.
“I know you shouldn’t be proud after losses but I think our players know they put a lot into the game against a really good team in their building so you factor all those things,” Curtin said. “And we know we have to pick ourselves up now because we never like to lose, but I think we’ll have a good response now against Miami on the weekend.”
Though the team did fight back valiantly, it’s just another disappointing result for the Union, which has now dropped points in five straight matches away from home. They have not really looked their best in any of the matchups either. Philly are clinging onto third place in the Eastern Conference by a thread, and the gap between them and New England is starting to widen.
The perfect opportunity for a bounce back has presented itself, with the Union’s next match on the road against fledgling Inter Miami, a team who did upset the Union once this season.
Despite their recent downturn in form — they were beat up by a 5-0 score line by New England on Wednesday — Curtin cautioned against his players overlooking them on Sunday. One of Miami’s two wins on the season came against the Union in Chester back in April.
“Every team has highs and lows during the course of the season, obviously they’re not in their best moments but at the same time when teams have their backs against the wall in this league they tend to respond,” Curtin said. “So it’s a very dangerous game for us.”