Jim Curtin hails Philadelphia Union after tough Concacaf Champions League win

Head coach Jim Curtin praised the Philadelphia Union after defeating Atlas 1-0 in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series at home.

It was a struggle, but they got it done. The Philadelphia Union are now one step closer to the CCL semi-final with their win against Atlas.

Speaking to the media after the match, Curtin touched on his team’s effort and organization after a challenging game. 

“Overall, I thought our backline was organized, and we created some good chances,” Curtin said. “Still, we’re not clicking perfectly, we’d like to get more than just one goal, but we stuck to the task and we fought very hard.”

Though Atlas went down a man, they still made it very difficult for the Union by bunkering down and attacking on the counter.

“Overall, you give Atlas a ton of credit, even down a man, it was difficult to break them down. “

Curtin credits center-back Damion Lowe for shutting down Atlas’ most dangerous attacker, forward Julian Quinones.

“Damion Lowe, on the night, did a really good job in open space to shut down a very dangerous, dynamic attacker [ Quinones.] I thought our backline was organized. We know we have a difficult task to go to Atlas, an incredible team and an incredible atmosphere, but we do know now that if go over there and get an away goal, it really changes things.”

Despite a rocky start to the 2023 campaign, the team is now in eighth place on the Eastern Conference table and one victory away from the international tournament’s semifinal for the first time ever.

“Happy with the performance, we know we can play better, we’re still early in [the MLS season] but these Champions League games have an extra level of intensity that’s a good healthy thing to have at this stage of the season.”

The Union will be back on the field this weekend in MLS as they take on Eastern Conference rivals FC Cincinnati on April 8th at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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