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September 17, 2017

Jim Curtin

Harrison, New Jersey

New York Red Bulls - 0, Philadelphia Union - 0

JIM CURTIN: First off, the traveling fans that gave to support us gave us an extra boost. I know the year hasn't gone the way we had hoped, but for them to still stick behind our guys says a lot.

As poorly as we can play in the first half and still keep a shutout, to be quite honest, I thought that the guys showed a little bit of a response. In the second half, obviously Red Bull, regardless of who is on the field, is a very good team in this building. I think they have lost twice in two years.

You know it's always going to be a tough task. They did a lot of what we anticipated in terms of pressuring, fighting for second balls. In the first half, we just weren't up to the challenges. The second half, we responded a little bit, rolled our sleeves up. The guys hung in there and fought for a point.

Again, these are results now, on the road in recent weeks where if we did our work early on in the season, they would be positive results. But right now as we chase from behind, it's difficult. But again, a positive is that a point on the road at Red Bull is a good point. Have to response now going back against a good Chicago Fire team on the weekend.

Q. You bring on Warren at half time. What were you looking for from him and do you think he settled the game down a little bit or was able to connect more passes?
JIM CURTIN: Listen, Warren played a great game in Minnesota and when you talk about a professional and a guy that could be complaining about not getting minutes and be frustrated; he trains every day as hard as possible, gives maximum effort. Did a great job against Minnesota and we were quick to pull the trigger at half when we didn't like what we saw from the group.

You know, credit to Warren. He steps into -- fast game to step into a hot day and did a good job for us. That's what a professional does and I give credit to Warren for his performance.

Q. With the way the Red Bulls press, is it even more important to not have those big spaces in midfield and be able to connect out of the back, whether it's through Ilsinho or someone at center? Seems like that wasn't happening the first half?
JIM CURTIN: The first half we didn't have the ball at all. I thought that, you know, when you talk about preparing for Red Bull, these two- and three-yard passes that don't get you anywhere is what they pray on. They want you to play a short ball, jump you, turn you over as close to your goal as possible and attack.

I thought our ability to have the confidence to now hit a good switch, because they do get ten guys literally on in a 30-by-30 area; to hit that line ball to our other outside back or to our other outside winger, we panicked and just started to put balls forward and that became forcing us to defend for literally 45 minutes.

Again, I will say that it's as poorly as you can play and keep a shutout, but at the same time, I thought the response in the second half was there.

Q. Seemed like Richie and Jack handled Veron pretty well, what did you see from Richie?
JIM CURTIN: Veron is a handful. Speed-wise, I don't think people don't realize how quick he is. He got Jack isolated a couple of times and beat him.

Again it's another game where Jack can learn. They did a decent job of kind of baiting Keegan out and then playing balls into that kind of wide area, and it's important for Jack to have help with Richie. And he got kind of in a little bit of No Man's Land in the first half, but I thought the second half he corrected it and battled through some cramps, and it was a tough day.

But again, a clean sheet on the road and credit to Andre for that for keeping us in it, and I thought the guys in the back did a good job. I thought Richie won his individual duels, his battles, and again, a professional, because he was ready when he was called upon and that's what you ask from guys.

Q. From their perspective, with the Open Cup Final, they are going into their game, they have only scored four goals in five games. Do you see anything they are doing that they should be doing --
JIM CURTIN: I'm certainly not worried about them scoring goals. They have got plenty of firepower with Wright-Phillips and Sacha. You think even back to the Open Cup game we played them here, in a lot of ways, when you look back on that -- I was thinking about this having breakfast. It's a turning point in both of our seasons to be honest because that was one of our best performances. We don't score, don't execute and it goes to PK's, and one of our better performances, and they wind up getting a win and they have been on a run since then.

Again, whoever they put on the field today, it still doesn't matter. I remember the past last year, even last year when we were pushing for the playoffs, we actually rested guys on the last day to have them ready for the playoffs and even prior to that for an Open Cup Final, we wound up getting a 2-2 draw where we rested guys.

So they rested some of their star players. We did a good job dealing with them because it's tough when they are fresh coming in, when Sacha comes in and Wright-Phillips comes in. So some similarities there. But again, I'm not worried about Red Bull scoring goals. They certainly are more than capable of that.

Q. You said that they are on a roll. They haven't won in five and they have struggled to score, and so is there something that you can see -- going in, you've been through finals, how do you assess their chances considering that recent run of form?
JIM CURTIN: The thing about soccer is the next game is the most important game. How many times have they been beat recently? Not many. So they are in every game. They are a great team.

Again, they are going into a final with a chance to lift the trophy and that's about as good as you can set yourself up. Not quite sure why the heck I'm talking about Red Bull right now but at the same time, those guys, I know a lot of them. They are more than experienced in the Open Cup. Their staff and all those guys, you know, you wish them the best of luck on Wednesday. There's two trophies in our country and they have the opportunity to lift one.

So again, if you think they are a bad team or implying that, that is not the case, because I've watched them every game and they play very well. There should be more people in this stadium to be quite honest because they have been good supporter shields (ph) over the past few years. Again, I don't see the issues with their team that maybe you do.

Q. Clean sheets are obviously more than just a single player. What do you think of Blake's play today?
JIM CURTIN: Blake was excellent. He kept a shutout, which is important, the first time in a little while where we kept a clean sheet.

Again, happy for him in that regard. Yeah, his play speaks for itself. He's a great goalkeeper. He's the Goalkeeper of the Year from last year and he's done a good job in key moments. But the guys in front of him also worked really hard, did a good job and broke up some plays and made it as easy as possible for Andre on the night.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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