Jim Curtin Press Conference Pre-Atlanta United


Jim Curtin spoke with the media ahead of Philadelphia Union's return to MLS action against Atlanta United at the Mercedes Benz Stadium on Sunday.


The last meeting in Atlanta proved to be one of the greatest results in Union history, winning 3-0 in the Concacaf Champions League.


The Union's away record this season is almost perfect after winning four of their first five games. Whilst also keeping clean sheets in all five fixtures. Despite this, Curtin knows just how tough Sunday will be.


"It's no easy task to go into Atlanta in a packed stadium with a very good, well-coached and organised team with very good players. We'll have to be almost perfect on the day to get out of there and take points back to Philadelphia."


The Mercedes Benz Stadium will be at full capacity on Sunday, and with more than 40,000 fans in attendance for the game, it is likely to be a hostile environment. That is something Curtin acknowledges, and he knows the fans will play a huge part in Sunday's game.


"In that building for those that haven't been there, it gets loud. It's a difficult environment. They have great fans, great support, and they get on you the right amount. It's a beautiful stadium, a hostile environment and a good team that doesn't lose very often there."


Curtin will be forced into some changes due to injuries, and the international tournaments being played

However, on the injury front, there has been some positives and negatives for the Union boss.


"Jose [Martinez] remains away, and he won't partake in the game because he's with Venezuela in the Copa America.

"[Daniel] Gazdag gets in on Saturday, and then we will have some tests and go through our assessment of where he's at. We're hoping that it's not too severe and that he'll be back very quickly.


"Jack de Vries remains in concussion protocol, and Ilsinho had his surgery and is progressing very well. He's out on the field right now with no contact yet, and he's slightly ahead of schedule and is able to run, which is encouraging to see."


Kacper Przybylko has been the main man upfront for Philadelphia, scoring eight goals in all competitions. Despite his fine form, Curtin knows that they cannot solely rely on Przybylko to score all of the team's goals. Jamiro Monteiro is the second top scorer with three, and Curtin wants other players in the squad to contribute more on the goal front.


"You need strikers scoring goals. Kacper [Przybylko] was doing that before the break, but you need more guys to step up and carry a bit of that load.


"It's very challenging in this league to have just one guy to rely on to score the bulk of the goals, so we need contributions. We've gotten them from Cory [Burke] and Sergio [Santos], but we need one of them to get hot and go on a run and relieve some of the burden ."

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