The third coach in Philadelphia Union history in the second-straight to successfully shed the interim tag.
Jim Curtin succeeded John Hackworth as Union coach this summer, and spearheaded a turnaround that almost took him to the postseason.
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And the poorly-kept secret, that Curtin and Philadelphia were negotiating a full-time deal, is now completed, public and official after a Friday press conference.
“The title changes with me but the message is the same — I’m here to win,” Curtin said. “I have to push this team forward in that regard. I’m here to win and get this team back in the playoffs where we belong.”
After an exhaustive search for a high-profile bench boss, Union CEO & operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, who said he received over 200 inquiries, couldn’t ignore Curtin’s success with the Union.
“I said at that time that we would go on an extensive search for our first-team coach,” Sakiewicz said. “I asked Jim Curtin to take over as interim coach and caretaker of the team. And boy did he take care of the team — 17 games unbeaten in 23. He did a great job.”
Curtin deserves the shot after leading Philly to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final and making daring decisions — like moving Maurice Edu to center back — that helped the Union to a 10-6-7 record during his interim status.
The longtime Chicago Fire defender knows the league and knows his team. Now will he help them make the next step next season?
Trivia, for those who don’t know: Piotr Nowak was Philadelphia’s first coach.