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Philadelphia Union ‘continue to amaze’ manager Jim Curtin

The Union battled back from a one-goal deficit to take three points in San Jose on Wednesday.

The Philadelphia Union pulled out three points with their backs against the wall once again Wednesday night at Avaya Stadium, taking a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.

They did so in probably the most bizarre set of circumstances yet. The Union had two VAR decisions go their way, Ray Gaddis recorded his first assist in 16 months and the club battled back from a deficit after a sluggish first half. 

“This group of players seems to amaze me in different ways each week,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. 

The Union were almost buried before they had a chance to dig themselves out of the first-half hole. A bad open led to a San Jose goal,  but it was called back due to an offside call. 

“It could have been game over at that point,” Curtin said. “The guys showed a lot of heart, grit. It’s a good San Jose team. Very talented group that’s had a good season, they just can’t get a break right now.” 

Then came the response from the club captain and two of the most important additions of the Ernst Tanner era.

Alejandro Bedoya struck for the equalizer after a solid run down the right from Gaddis, who now has nine assists in 204 career games. 

“Ray made a good run forward. He made a great cut back ball,” Bedoya said. “I was probably going to try shoot that first time, but I saw the guy kind of just stepped in front of me, so I was able to take an extra touch, hit the ball on the ground and into the back post. I was just happy to score.” 

“(Bedoya)’s our captain, he’s our leader,” Curtin said. “I think in the first half, I think our team collectively our body language was bad. We were getting on each other, throwing our hands at each other and then at halftime we talked about it and Ale had a great response in the second half. That’s what a leader does. He put us on his back, scored a big goal for us and changed the momentum of the game.”

Added Curtin: “I’m proud of Ale. I think the guys are exhausted. They put a ton into the game. Obviously a very short rest flying out here to the west coast after a tough Red Bull game. Incredible amount of heart, and like I said, this team continues to amaze me every week that we play.”

Six minutes later, Kacper Przybylko produced a skillful header that connected with Jamiro Monteiro’s cross from the left wing. The Union’s leading scorer used tremendous skill to nod the ball down and past the leaping body of Daniel Vega. 

“We didn’t fight as a team (in the first half), we didn’t play as a team,” Przybylko said. “In the second half, we did better, we fought as a team. We wanted the three points and it didn’t matter how, but it’s nice to go back with the three points.”

The manner in which the Union won, especially after a disappointing loss to the New York Red Bulls Sunday, was the perfect example of what the team has been able to do in 2019. 

The victory adds to a list of come-from-behind wins over FC Dallas, New York Red Bulls and Orlando City. 

Not only did the Union boost themselves into second place with the victory, it proved once again they can play in a tough environment on the road. 

Now, they have to follow that up Sunday versus the Columbus Crew to keep in front for the No. 2 seed and have an outside shot at the top seed, if New England beats New York City FC at Gillette Stadium.

“They put a ton into the game, had some tough things go against them, but credit to our players for sticking with it and getting away with the big three points tonight,” Curtin said. 




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