Friday, September 19, 2014
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Adu on Union's loss: 'We just didn't pull the trigger today'

After the Philadelphia Union's 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on Monday, defender Danny Califf, midfielder Freddy Adu and goalkeeper Zac MacMath spoke with reporters outside the team's locker room.

Adu on Union's loss: 'We just didn't pull the trigger today'

PORTLAND, Ore. - After the Philadelphia Union's 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on Monday, defender Danny Califf, midfielder Freddy Adu and goalkeeper Zac MacMath spoke with reporters outside the team's locker room.

Here's a transcript of what they had to say. Below that you'll find a video of Peter Nowak's postgame remarks.


Danny Califf

On giving up three goals after taking the lead:

They brought all the horses. The game was pretty back and forth, and we opened it up. The timing of their first goal was not great for us, coming on the heels of our goal, and it kind of gave them the momentum right back. Then we were chasing the game after that.

On his assessment of Zac MacMath's performance and the entire defense's performance against Portland's wing play:

They play a bit of a European style and it's a lot of up-and-down. They use Kris Boyd's height and stature to their advantage, and they did a good job of that.

On whether Portland was given too much space on the flanks:

Yeah. I think that their outside midfielders were dropping deep to get the ball, and they had a little more space to run into at our defense. If you give Alhassan and Nagbe and those guys a little time to run, you're going to be in trouble.

On whether it sticks with him that the team's defense was the weak unit, compared to last year's strong defensive performances:

Certainly a couple of goals were unfortunate situations. I think that overall, if you look at the game, it wasn't so poor. There are certainly positives that we can take out of this game both offensively and defensively. Once they got the crowd into it and they started feeding off that in their home opener, give them credit for that – they brought everything tonight.

On whether he expects any tactical changes for next weekend:

I have no idea about next weekend. I wish I could look into a crystal ball and tell you, but I can't.

On whether he had to take over some of the space Carlos Valdés had been covering after Valdés' injury in the first half:

It wasn't something that was talked about or anything like that. He took one pretty good shot, but I think he did a good job for the rest of the game. So it wasn't anything extra for me.

On whether he sensed any lingering effects from Valdés' injury, including the potential for a concussion:

I didn't notice anything.

On whether, given the crowd, the weather, and the narrow width of the artificial surface, this might have been the Union's most difficult road game of the season:

It's certainly going to be up there. I think that this is one of the most athletic teams in the league, and then you add to that all the conditions. It's going to be up there in the top three that we have all year, I think.


Freddy Adu

On whether this will have been one of the most difficult difficult road games of the season:

Yeah. The atmosphere was electric. The fans are really into it and they feed off that. They were going 100 miles per hour. We did a pretty good job, especially in the first half, of weathering the storm and  playing our game.

We went up a goal and – we were a little unlucky, but at the end of the day we've got to just forget about it and work on getting better for the next game.

On the Union's lack of good passing in the first half:

We had a good amount, we had some possession. But at the end of the day we've got to create some chances out of that. That's why we play the sport – to score goals and win games. You don't win games if you don't score goals, so we have to find a way to get better at getting balls up to our forwards.

I thought we had some chances, but we just didn't pull the trigger today on a couple of occasions when we were open. That's going to come as the games go on.

On how the Union's attacking players can get that “trigger-pulling” mentality into their heads:

I know that's something that Peter's going to work on. That's something that we've talked about and are going to focus on. Being cleaner on the ball, and also pulling the trigger whenever we get a yard or two. Because in these kinds of games, you're not going to get much space. You've got to find a way to pull the trigger and get the ball on goal.

On being named to the U.S. Olympic team, and on having a short turnaround to his arrival in Nashville to join the squad:

It's definitely an honor and a privilege to be part of your national team on any level, and to be a part of this team for qualifying, I'm honored to be there and I'm happy about it.

Obviously I'm sad that I'm leaving Philadelphia right now, because we're playing with some pretty good chemistry. But as a pro, you have to expect these kinds of things and adjust. You've got to be ready for them.

I'm ready to go in, I'm excited about it and hopefully we can qualify for the Olympics.

On whether being named to the Olympic team was a distraction in Monday's game:

No, I wasn't thinking about it at all. I was completely focused on Philadelphia and what we were trying to do.


Zac MacMath

On the pressure he faced in the second half:

They brought it to us. I think we might have been a little bit tired, but overall, once I let in that first goal I think we just lost our confidence a little bit. Then they got a second and they got a third.

On whether the first goal rattled him:

It was unfortunate. It was a little lack of concentration. But I tried to forget about it and keep us in the game after that.

On what he saw on the other two goals:

The first one came off a header, and it was a good header. It came off pretty quick off his head and I didn't have time to react to it. The other one, I don't know if he was shooting it but I was unlucky that he got it in.

On what caused the Union's weakness against headers in the game:

I have to go back and look at the video. I don't really know too much about it right now, but I thought we did pretty well on both Boyd and Perlaza for most of the game. It was just unfortunate that we let up a couple goals.

On whether he thought the collision involving Carlos Valdés affected the game:

I'm not really sure. I didn't really get to speak to him about his injury. But I don't think so.

On whether this will have been the Union's toughest road game of the season:

It's definitely going to be up there. This being the first game, it was tough. The conditions weren't great, but that's just something we have to deal with.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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