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

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Union 0-1 Dynamo: Post-game quotes and reaction

You heard my thoughts already; time for what those on the field saw in the Philadelphia Union's 1-0 loss to Houston Satuday.
Making his first career MLS start, the Union's Aaron Wheeler
couldn't help his side get much started offensively.
(Associated Press)

Union forward Aaron Wheeler On the challenge of his first career MLS start: It’s a tough place to come and play, so I was looking forward to the challenge. It lived up to everything. It was a tough, physical game. It was just a heart-breaker really. I don’t really have much else to say about it.

On whether Houston’s confidence grew as the game went on: I don’t know so much as confidence, but they had to push more. They’re the home team, so once the game stays 0-0, as the home team, you had to push more and go forward. They started to get the ball a little more. I don’t know about confidence, but they definitely started to put us on our heels a little bit.

Union forward Conor Casey On his team’s play: Not real well. We didn’t really establish what we wanted to do with the ball. It was a close game. We were in it for most of the game which was good. We had a couple chances and weren’t concise enough with them, and at the end of the day didn’t do enough to get a point or three.

On the Union’s adaptation to a new lineup: It’s hard. We’re missing a couple guys, and it’s a very difficult place to play here with the heat and everything. With that said, we still have to find a way to do a better job with the ball and make it easier on ourselves.

On moving on from the loss:
We have a good week of training and just look ahead. We’re in a good place right now as a team. We’ve dropped some points the last couple games, but we’re in the middle of the season now and this is where it really counts, and that’s what’s going to separate us and show if we’re a playoff team or not. … Today just wasn’t a very good day in general. But I think the past month we’ve been pretty consistent, so just get back to what we were doing and take it from there.

Union manager John Hackworth On the changes in the lineup:
I just think it was a great opportunity for some of our younger guys to get not only a start – I think we started two guys for the first time tonight, Antoine (Hoppenot) and Wheeler gets his first start, and Leo (Fernandes) gets his second – and it’s a great opportunity for those guys. No problem with how they played. I think they all played great.

On what went wrong on the Houston goal:
I just watched it back a bunch of times, and we don’t defend collectively as a group and we leave a guy open inside the box. And we can’t do that at this level. Credit to Houston, they were pushing the whole game. They were a team that was really trying to get on the board, and to their credit, they broke through in the second half.

On where the Union stand after the loss:
I think we’re fine. We’ve been on a five-game unbeaten streak. And this is a tough game. You’re going to win some, and you’re going to lose some, especially when you play in tough conditions, third game in eight days. It’s just tough. I thought our team put out a great effort, it just wasn’t there tonight.

On the thinking behind the forward-heavy lineup:
We tried to come here and force the game. We tried to press Houston. We knew they were going to come after us hard. And to some degree, it worked, and other times it doesn’t. You have to be able to put the ball on the ground and possess it and take your rest where you can, and we didn’t do a great job of that in the first half. We had a lot of silly turnovers. It meant that we were working a lot harder. And for us to be successful in this kind of heat and humidity for the second game in a row, it was going to mean that we had to be a good team in pressing but also good with the ball and manage the match well, and I think that’s where we let it get away from us.

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