New England Soccer Today

Curtin: Union Ready for Revs’ Style of Play

Much like his counterpart for Sunday’s match at Talen Energy Stadium, Union coach Jim Curtin is always looking at the tape. And what he’s seen from the Revolution ahead of Philadelphia’s home opener is sure to keep him busy through the week.

After watching Jay Heaps’ side outshoot DC 18-7, and generally keep United on their heels last Saturday, the Union coach will have to ensure that his squad’s communication is on point this weekend.

“They have midfielders that contribute with goals, which is a tough thing to find in our league,” Curtin said at his midweek press conference on Wednesday. “They have a lot of interchange. A lot of the data and the film that you watch, they don’t play with a ton of width; obviously, they’re outside backs give them their width, but they’re wingers have a tendency to come inside.”

With Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury, and Juan Agudelo all possibilities for spots on the outside of the midfield, Curtin will need fullbacks Fabinho and Keegan Rosenberry to stay locked against the Revolution.

“It’s something we’ve worked on, how we want to deal with that,” Curtin said. “They create little 2v1s and 3v2s. Lee Nguyen having the freedom to kind of drift right to left. (He’s) a very dangerous player, capable of also scoring a goal and setting up goals. So, that’s a dynamic front five that you have to deal with.”

Containing that front five won’t be easy for the Union, who’ll be without the services of defensive midfielder Maurice Edu. The U.S. international is sidelined with a broken leg, and could miss up to three months of action.

But even though veteran Brian Carroll, who’s filled in for Edu, has plenty of experience playing against the Revolution, Curtin said he’ll need all 11 players to pitch in, much like they did in their 2-1 win at Columbus last weekend.

“It’s not a one-person job,” Curtin said. “It’s everybody being bought in and helping the guy next to you, and obviously, winning your 1v1 battle but also looking to help and communicate with the guy next to you. But they’re a great attacking team, it’ll be a tough test.”

A tough test that even if Revolution striker Charlie Davies (hamstring strain) isn’t ready to go will give Curtin a good gauge of how far along his squad is during the early going.

“We expect a very strong team,” Curtin said, “and it’ll take everybody being on the same page for us to get a result.”

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