By RYAN TOLMICH
After months of rumors connecting the two sides, Rene Meulensteen has finally joined the Philadelphia Union.
The club announced Friday that Meulensteen, who previously spent 12 years with Manchester United, has officially joined with the club as a consultant and advisor to ownership on soccer operations.
“We are happy to announce we have engaged Rene Meulensteen’s partner in sports practice to consult with us on many of our key decisions over the next several months, as we look to benefit from his exceptional history of success in both player development and first team performance during his decade of work at Manchester United,” Union chairman/owner Jay Sugarman said in a press release. “René has hit the ground running and I know Nick (Sakiewicz), Jim (Curtin) , Tommy (Wilson) and our team of coaches as well as our academy staff will welcome René’s insights and experience during this important period for the club as much as I do.”
Meulensteen was most recently seen as Fulham’s manger during the 2012-12 Premier League season. Prior to his time with the Cottagers, the 50-year-old Dutchman managers Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and served on the staff of Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson for a combined 12 seasons between 2001-13.
“I connected with Rene right from the start when a good friend introduced us five months ago. He has experience coaching and developing players at the highest level of soccer and we are thrilled to add his expertise to the Philadelphia Union,” Sakiewicz said. “We have been closely evaluating our technical structure in order to ensure our long-term overall success. René will be a valuable resource in our continued evolution of the technical operation. René’s work at both the academy and first team levels is world class and we look forward to working with him on all aspects of our soccer operations.”
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