Union boss labels Red Bulls midfield as ‘best in league’ ahead of weekend clash

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin has admitted how difficult it will be to cope with the New York Red Bulls when they meet for an MLS clash at Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening.

“As you look ahead, it doesn’t get any easier with having to go to New York, a rival game, and then also DC at their place, so there will be a little bit of a revenge factor in that one,” he said in yesterday’s press conference.

“So two games coming up on the road against rivals in the Eastern Conference. Obviously every game is a big one in our league because anybody can beat anybody but New York will certainly be a tough task.”

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The Union boss was full of praise for Sunday’s opponents and despite a convincing 3-1 victory in preseason over the Red Bulls, Curtin knows it’s going to be tougher this time around.

“The team that’s in very good form, a team that high presses all over the field, I think the team that has the best midfield in the league going right now between Dax (McCarty), Sacha (Kljestan) and Felipe (Martins).

“A team that if I’m being honest gave us a lot of issues in the preseason even though the scoreline was very much in our favour.

“They created a ton and were very good against us, so a team we respect, we know that are going to be good, a coach I’m very familiar with in Jesse Marsch and any time you go on the road in this league, it’s difficult to get a win but that’s going to have to be our task.”

Can Philadelphia Union get a positive result against the in-form New York Red Bulls at the weekend?

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LA Galaxy ‘weren’t very good’ says head coach Bruce Arena

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena hasn’t defended his team’s performance in the 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center on Saturday night and says they still aren’t “sharp enough” or “fit enough” yet.

“I didn’t like a whole lot on the night, we weren’t very good to be honest with you, we lost too many battles,” said Bruce Arena in his post match press conference.

He was very frank in his description of how his team performed and admitted that Houston “played harder” than the Galaxy and that “made the difference” in the game.

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The LA boss was also extremely disappointed with the defending for the Dynamo goal, especially considering the equaliser came just minutes after the Galaxy had taken the lead.

“We had a mental breakdown on a corner-kick, Robbie Rogers loses his man and it’s a goal.

“In a game like this where your opponent is sitting back and defending with numbers looking to get at you on the break, we’ve got to be better than that. To concede a goal shortly after we scored, that’s not good on our part.”

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LA Galaxy’s lacklustre passing was another concern to Bruce Arena, but he did credit the Houston Dynamo’s efforts in defence.

“Our passing on the night wasn’t good. Our backline didn’t pass the ball very well and I think that impacted the ability for the midfielders to have a better impact on the game.

“Overall I think on the night they [Houston Dynamo] defended pretty well.”

LA Galaxy are still undefeated after three games of the new MLS season having won one and drawn two.

They’re currently third in the Western Conference and their next game is a tough trip to DC United on Saturday, March 28.

Was Bruce Arena right to publicly criticise his LA Galaxy team?

Arsene Wenger says Thierry Henry “was one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen”

Manager Arsene Wenger was asked about how he reflects on the career of Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry, in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Liverpool game at Anfield this Sunday.

The Frenchman said, “I would like to thank him for what he has done for the club and what a huge success he has been for us. He was of course an exceptional football player.

“Thierry especially was a combination of huge physical talent, technical talent, but as well special intelligence.

“He was one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few good ones.”

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Henry has taken on a role as a pundit for Sky Sports but is also keen to gain his coaching badges, although Wenger has warned him of the pain that comes with being a football coach.

“He has enjoyed it, now it’s time to suffer as well for him. Coaching is enjoyable but it is as well suffering.

“It’s not as easy to get everybody to score the goals that he scored.”

As well as reminiscing over Thierry Henry, Wenger was in a confident mood and says that Arsenal have “very good memories at Liverpool” despite last season’s 5-1 thrashing.

“Liverpool scored over 100 goals last year. This year they have scored 19, so they are not on the same trend offensively.”

Will Arsenal win at Anfield on Sunday? And was Thierry Henry one of the greatest players ever?