Jim Curtin on Nick Sakiewicz’ Short-List for Philadelphia Union Manager


Aug 24, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union interim coach Jim Curtin (left) during the National Anthem at the of the match against the San Jose Earthquakes at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Interim team manager Jim Curtin has helped turn around a struggling Philadelphia Union squad in his short tenure. In MLS play, his only losses have come against Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas in Texas. In US Open Cup play, Philadelphia is one game from lifting the franchise’s first trophy in their fifth year of existence. They host the USOC final against Seattle Sounders on September 16th.

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It should come at no surprise that Curtin’s name is among those Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz mentioned about being on the Union’s short-list. Curtin has shown his worth to be considered as the permanent manager moving forward. Some are calling for the Union to name Curtin manager as soon as possible, yet Sakiewicz is taking his time to process and decide the next manager.

"“I’m taking my time,” Sakiewicz told MLSsoccer.com. “Jim’s doing a great job with what he’s been given. I’m very proud of the job he’s done. There’s no rush to do anything. We’re playing in our first championship final in three weeks, so I would say our efforts and focus is more on that than it is on the coaching search.”"

“Jim Curtin is on the short short list, for sure.”- Nick Sakiewicz

Sakiewicz is absolutely right not to do this search in a rush. There is no need to. Curtin is doing his job on and off the field and the players seem to be responsive to his coaching style as well. There two games next week against Toronto FC and the US Open Cup final are a little more important then speedily naming a permanent manager.

Curtin is not the only one being considered. As Dave Zeitlin reported on MLSSoccer.com, “He [Sakiewicz] also confirmed that former Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch and former US national-team players Tony Meola and John Harkes – three candidates on the short list that were first reported by Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer – are “still in the conversation.”

All those mentioned by the Union CEO are big-time names with soccer expeirence. Personally, it would be best to see Meola come on as the Union goalkeeper coach. Granted that Rais M’Bohli, Zac MacMath, and Andre Blake are all still in a Union jersey, Meola could bring his expertise to a world-class keeper and two budding young goalies.

Even with names like Marsch, Meola, and Harkes being thrown into the mix, Sakiewicz mentioned Curtin has an advantage.

"“Jim has a front-row seat on this one,” Sakiewicz said. “He’s doing everything he needs to do. He’s been with us since he was the U-18 coach at our academy. I would say there’s nothing Jim can do differently that would be in his favor. He’s already got a huge advantage because he’s been in our club for four years.”"

Curtin may or may not be the front runner for the job, but “[he’s] on the short short list, for sure.”

For now the search continues, but September is an important month for the Union in the MLS playoff race and US Open Cup play and that should remain the primary focus.

Quotes courtesy of MLSSoccer.com Union beat writer Dave Zeitlin