Philadelphia Union: Jim Curtin Should Have Interim Tag Removed

courtesy mlssoccer.com

courtesy mlssoccer.com

Jim Curtin was named the interim coach of the Philadelphia Union after former coach John Hackworth was relieved of his duties on June 10, 2014. Since Curtin took over managerial duties, the Union have lost only two matches in over two months.

The Union are 4-2-3 (win-loss-tie) since Curtin took over and have found themselves deep in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference. While Hackworth was the coach the Union had a record of 3-7-6 and it looked as if the season was all but over for them. He also has led them to the 2014 US Open Cup Final against the Seattle Sounders on September 16th.

Curtin has been a member of the Philadelphia coaching staff since the end of the 2012 MLS season. He played nine seasons in MLS, mostly as a member of the Chicago Fire. He played in 172 matches with Chicago and Chivas USA, scoring five goals in his career. It was perceived that Curtin was not athletic enough to play professionally, and the relative obscurity of Villanova, led to Curtin not being drafted until the third round of the 2001 MLS SuperDraft. He was also a member of the 2004 MLS All-Star team.

Since becoming the head man in charge, he has injected the Union with a passion that seemed to be lacking with Hackworth in charge. He also made the decision to start newly acquired Rais M’bolhi at goal over the incumbent Zac MacMath this past weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes. It took over three weeks for Mbolhi to get the start in goal because he missed two practices due to a minor car accident while in France which came on the heels of the World Cup veteran finally resolving visa issues.

“It was kind of down to the wire,” Curtin said. “He looked me in the eye and said he wanted to play. That’s enough for me.”

It is hard to not have a “world class” goalkeeper start when he is on the roster, but to wait until the last minute to make that decision is risky business. It paid off in the end and nobody is second guessing the decision after M’Bohli performance against the San Jose Earthquakes. It is also the third straight game across all competitions that a different goalkeeper has started a match for the Union.

In the past Curtin has stated he would love to stay in Philadelphia and be the man to take them back to the playoffs and make them a solid contender year in and year out. I understand the reason on waiting until the season is over to make the decision, but he has showed he is capable of taking this team to new levels.

Now is the time to make him the full time coach. Show the team and fans that you like the direction that Jim Curtin is taking the team.

Chris Blakely is the Lead Writer/Editor for StoppageTimeSoccer. You can follow him on Twitter @TheRealCBlakely, like him on Facebook or add him to your Google circles.

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