Photo by Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
By DAN KARELL
The Philadelphia Union ownership and front office have apparently seen enough to make a decision on a permanent head coach before the end of the season.
According to a report from Goal USA, the Union have removed the interim tag from Jim Curtin’s job title and are set to make him the head coach through the 2015 season. The club are expected to issue a formal announcement on the new contract this week.
It’s good news for Curtin, who’s Union squad gave their all in a 3-1 defeat in extra time to the Seattle Sounders last week in the U.S. Open Cup final, with many wondering if Curtin’s job prospects would hinge on that performance.
Since taking over for John Hackworth on June 10, Curtin has led the Union to a 6-2-5 record in MLS play, including the team’s current five-match unbeaten run. In addition, he led the Union through to the U.S. Open Cup final, where they had to defeat the New York Cosmos and FC Dallas in overtime along the way.
With a contract in tow, Curtin can now concentrate on guiding the Union to the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history. The Union are currently in sixth place in the volatile Eastern Conference and are within an arms length of making it above the vaunted red line.
The Union have 38 points from 29 games played, two points behind the fifth-placed Columbus Crew, three points behind fourth-placed the New York Red Bulls, and four points behind the third-placed New England Revolution. The Union face the Crew twice in each team’s final five matches of the season.
The 35-year-old Curtin, a Philadelphia native, is in his first head coaching job since retiring as a player in 2008.
What do you think of this news? Do you feel that Curtin deserves the head coaching position? Think that the Union should have gone a different direction? Do you see the Union making the playoffs?
Share your thoughts below.