Blogs > Union Tally

A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Meet the (other) boss: Rob Vartughian's Wednesday presser

Union manager John Hackworth was unavailable for his weekly press conference Wednesday, so assistant coach/technical director Rob Vartughian stepped in. Here's what Rob had to say.

On the challenge on heading to Montreal:
They’re obviously a good team. They’ve ahead of us in the table. They’re sitting on 20 points through 10 games, and they’ve got some really good pieces and they’re dangerous. We’re pretty familiar with them. We’ve watched a ton of film on them. They’ve got a guy in (Marco) Di Vaio who’s got six goals who’s up top and they have experience all through the field, whether that’s (Alessandro) Nesta. They’ve got Felipe, who’s a very good player, Justin Mapp, who we’re all familiar with, who’s a very good player. They’ve got some really good pieces, so we obviously started that preparation right after Chicago, and I’ll think we’ll be ready to go once Saturday rolls around.

On where the trip to Montreal ranks:
I think they’re all tough. It’s tough to go into anyone else’s park and play. And this is a good team, it’s an experience team. In terms of where it ranks, I don’t know if I could put a ranking on it so to speak, but our approach has been the same for all the road games, so we’re not going to waver or do anything different than we have in the past and treat it like all the other ones.

On Kleberson's continued place in the starting XI:
We felt good about it. Kleberson was going into his second game, second start, and played a good game. Same for Michael (Farfan). But I would say that about generally all the guys that have been given the opportunity in the midfield. We’re happy for Kleberson and what he’s been able to bring in the two games that he’s played. He’s given us good minutes and he’s given us a little something different than maybe what we weren’t getting, but I think the players around him complement him well, whether that’s Michael, whether that’s Keon (Daniel), whether that’s Brian (Carroll), Danny (Cruz), you name it. That’s been good, and we’ve liked what we’ve seen.

On Bakary Soumare's play of late:
Baky’s been really good. He’s had these last three games, and he’s played really well, And that’s something obviously we’re talking about heading into this week. Baky’s done really well for us.

On whether Soumare's trade request is still on the table:
It’s a tough one. Obviously he’s been open about both parties trying to find an arrangement that works. But for us right now, he’s a player that’s played very well for us.

On the U.S. Open Cup fixture with the Ocean City Nor'Easters next week:
We’re obviously excited that we’re getting to play that game here, and what it means for us is it’s three games in eight days again with a quick turnaround with it being Tuesday rather than Wednesday like it was last week. But that is an important game for us. That is an important game for this club, and we’re very much treating that competition as something we want to make a run at.

On possible lineup turnover in the Cup match:
It’s a quicker turnaround, so how guys recover form Saturday, you have to gauge that. I think what we’ve shown over this last 10 days is we’re deep. We have players that have come in and contributed. We’re happy with that. That’s something obviously we may have to tap into midweek, but we just have to see how it goes over the weekend.

On the tactical shift between Cruz and Farfan last Saturday:
It was very much tactical in nature going into that specific game. We wanted Danny Cruz to run at Wells Thompson. We wanted that matchup. We felt like that was something that could work well for us. At the same time, Michael is a guy who is comfortable on the right side, so for that particular game, that was something we keyed off coming into it.

On the tactical flexibility of the midfield
It obviously speaks to some of the players’ versatility and their ability to adjust at a game’s notice, so to speak. But you look at those specific guys, they’ve been important figures and players for our team, so you make a change like that, at first it may be uncomfortable but they settle in and find a rhythm. For us, it worked and we were happy with it, so certainly moving forward, it’s something that you can look back on and say, ‘it worked well for us.’

On the choices to make in the midfield
We’ll see. Right now, we’re happy with that problem. You’ve got three guys that if you’re talking about those three guys, Michael, Keon and Kleberson, all those guys have a ton of quality. So in moments like this when we have three games in eight days, you have situations of potential call-ups or what that is, we’ll see what the pairing is week-to-week. But we’re happy with all those guys and their contributions and what they’ve been able to do.

On advance knowledge of Ocean City:
We had somebody at the game last night. Brendan Burke obviously is pretty familiar with the PDL and those teams and those players. We didn’t take it likely. We didn’t just say, oh let’s see who we get, and roll out a team on Tuesday. We’re not treating that competition this way. We had folks there last night watching the game and preparing for whichever team won. They will have a scouting report, and they will have the same pregame lead up as any other game.

On possibly moving Amobi Okugo to the midfield:
There has and that’s a good question. I think for us, it’s a good problem to have again speaking to our depth. And now you have Baky playing well coming off three games, and Jeff who’s 100 percent healthy and Amobi who’s been playing great. I think anytime you start to have discussions, it ultimately turns to what’s best for your next opponent and how does that impact the rest of the group and how does that affect your ability to go into Montreal and get a result. To answer your question, yeah it is a conversation.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home