web analytics
Philadelphia Union defy odds at Portland Timbers with “incredible performance” | MLSSoccer.com

Philadelphia Union defy odds at Portland Timbers with “incredible performance” | MLSSoccer.com

Philadelphia were missing six starters due to international duty, had only four field players on the bench and ended up making just a single sub in the 84th minute. 

“An incredible performance from our guys. This group tends to be at their best when maybe they’re counted out,” Curtin proclaimed after their Matchday 6 breakthrough.

“We talked in the pregame obviously about being shorthanded, but I promised the players that if they gave maximum effort, I was certain we would get a result.”

And if you look at it another way, Philly remain undefeated (1W-0L-3D) in league play this year. 

“Four games, we want more wins, of course, but we haven’t been beaten yet,” said Curtin. “Now we get to go home after playing three out of four league games on the road. We’re pretty good there.”

Forget the expensive rosters, which Curtin made note of when referring to the Timbers postgame. It was a win indicative of the Union’s essence in true Philly fashion – grinding out a road victory when their backs are against the wall.

Julián Carranza finished with a brace, scoring his first two league goals of the season. It was his sixth multi-goal game, tying Dániel Gazdag and Sébastien Le Toux for the most in club history. Rising homegrown Quinn Sullivan scored the other, putting away a rebound following a long-range Jeremy Rafanello shot.

“You can go through each guy tonight and a lot of them checked a lot more positive boxes than negative, and that’s usually when you come out on top,” Curtin said.

“Regardless of how much another team spends, how many great superstars or individual talent they have, if 11 guys are cohesively together, you can beat any team.”

For a group with expectations of being among the elites in MLS, a recent ouster from the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup still lingers in their mind, especially that 6-0 Leg 2 thrashing at Pachuca.

But then some nights put things back in perspective, like when everybody who was called on at Providence Park stepped up in the absence of others. Philly had a gameplan, sat a little lower defensively and were more compact in their lines of four – only beaten by a consolation header from new Timbers DP forward Jonathan Rodríguez (80′) as three points came into view.

All along, Portland dominated possession with 68.3% compared to the Union’s 31.7%. The hosts also outpassed the visitors 666 to 244, another number Curtin doesn’t care for.

“Possession without real penetration is useless,” he said. “I think it’s the worst statistic in the sport, it tells you nothing.”

Yet, on a night the Union were outnumbered, that told the true story.

“This win and game was about whoever is here; the names on the back don’t matter. Let’s play like us, be hard to play against and find a way to get a result,” Curtin explained. “It’s a big win.

“The soreness, bumps and bruises hurt a little bit less on the plane when you have three points coming back to Philly.”

Read More

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *