Jim Curtin held his weekly presser Thursday, ahead of the Union’s home opener this Saturday. Let’s look at what the coach said in our presser analysis: week 2 Toronto.
Jim opened as he always does recapping the performance of the team from the past match. He categorized The Union’s 0-0 draw as a total defensive success. The Union’s game plan was to not concede, and they accomplished that! Jim talked about how the Union’s organization will have to be spot on this coming weekend. On to the media’s questions!
When asked if this was a revenge game for the playoff loss last season, Jim said that it wasn’t much of a factor. While the fans will want revenge, Jim say’s this isn’t a rivalry match just yet.
In terms of playing different Home and Away, Curtin said that there will be a difference in the style of play at times. But not so much in terms of personnel and formation.
When asked about Toronto’s 3-5-2 formations, Jim gave a shout out to their back three. He stalked about how they’re good in the air, and how their wing backs get up the field. Mentions how Beitashour may have a concussion problem. Also mentions how the Union went after TFC’s centerback Drew Moor in free agency, but were unsuccessful.
Of course, Giovinco was mentioned; mostly how to stop the Atomic Ant. Curtin calls him the most dangerous player in the league. He talks about how 1v1 Giovinco usually wins. Says the most important aspect is knowing where Giovinco is when Toronto doesn’t have the ball. Knowing where he is, and having bodies around him will limit his chances.
A question about two injured Union men, Creavalle and Ilsinho came across. Curtin said Creavalle is back to full strength. Ilsinho, on the other hand was only able to come back to training Thursday, and didn’t participate fully. Jim was optimistic about the Brazilian’s availability for Saturday however.
A good question was asked about Alberg and how he’d feature. Jim’s answer was blunt. He’s a scorer but needs to work on doing the hard defensive running. When his fitness improves he could be in contention for the start at the 10. He should be able to feature off the bench in the coming matches.
When asked about Fafa’s impact off the bench, Curtin had high praise. The speedster’s play helped the Union get the ball up the field, maintaining possession and the clean sheet.
Gooch’s fitness was brought up, and Curtin shared how impressed his is with the veteran center back. He talked about Onyewu’s willingness to put in a full shift on turf in his first MLS start. Curtin say’s the back line will rely on his leadership going forward.
The chemistry between the center backs and Derrick Jones was brought up, and Curtin said that he was pleased with their communication, and sites Bedoya and Medunjanin’s help getting Jones acclimated to the game.
Bedoya’s leadership was brought up and Jim talked about how his captain is taking on the role of vocal leader. This is something Jim has pushed Ale too, and quotes how he’s done that with Derrick Jones. Bedoya’s name was also mentioned as being on the most overrated players from an anonymous player survey. Jim shrugged it off comparing it to an overreaction from Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless.
When asked how Simpson will play for the Union. Jim mentioned his defensive work, and coming deep to get the ball as a huge factor. He also says that with service there will be goals from the Englishman.
Other player questions and news; Ken Tribbett has a calf injury, and rookies Jack Elliot and Aaron Jones are officially allowed to be up for squad selection after their visa’s cleared. Jim loves the cohesion from this group, and will rely on this “big part of things” going forward.
Be on the look out for a preview of the Toronto game later today. Until then, peace out Union fans.
Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports