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Berhalter praises Curtin’s impact at Union after Supporters’ Shield success


Gregg Berhalter and Jim Curtin used to go toe-to-toe on the sidelines in Chester or Columbus, but now both coaches have taken major steps in their developments on the field.

While Berhalter is nearing the end of his second year in charge of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Curtin is coming off his best regular season yet as head coach of the Philadelphia Union. Curtin helped the Union capture its first trophy in club history on Sunday, clinching the 2020 Supporters’ Shield after a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution.

After coaching against him in MLS, Berhalter has continued to watch Curtin’s work from afar as he now prepares to lead the Union to a deep playoff run.

“I have a lot of respect for Jim Curtin and he’s a guy I’m really fond of,” Berhalter said Monday. “He’s a great coach, a really good human being. I think he’s patient with players. And it’s great to see that get rewarded. I think he’s been a process then you talk about from when he took over to now, it’s great to see them get results from that process because it is something they believed in.”

“When I think about their organization, I think about the academy and what they invest in the academy and now have those players performing on the field.. it’s special.”

The Union have become one of the top clubs in MLS over the past few seasons with Sunday marking their best achievement to date. Curtin, who played locally at Bishop McDevitt High School before moving on to Villanova University and MLS, took over as Union head coach in 2014 and has been one of the longest-tenured coaches since.

Curtin has not only led the Union to three U.S. Open Cup Finals appearances, but has seen improved numbers for the club over the past three seasons. The Union now head into the MLS Cup Playoffs as one of the favorites after edging Toronto FC to the Supporters’ Shield, while seeing young American players Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie take center stage.


  1. GB yet again getting ahead of himself with the cheerleading. Curtin has made the playoffs 1/2 the time and then lost the first round. He made 3 USOC finals and lost them all — including to my sorry Houston team. Before elevating him I would like to see him win one playoff round at least, and really a title. I am sure he is a nice guy but I prefer the attitude of Arena and Klinsi where we are more difficult to impress and discerning about who to cheerlead. Cheerleading people just based on where they sign or one decent regular season is a tad goofy. He comes across a little too broadly fanboy in a position where he really needs to be a picky snob who can tell good from average and great from good.

    • Jesse Marsch won one Supporter’s Shield at NYRBs are you saying he wasn’t deserving of praise until he took over a team in RBS that wins the Austrian double 9 out of 10 times no matter the manager. I believe this was in response to a direct question about Curtin and Philly winning the shield the day before, totally appropriate response.

      • that’s a silly argument. marsch won conference twice and then his last year when he moved was on pace to set a league record for points, which armas then finished. i was pro an expensive foreign coach but among domestic coaches pimped him at the time for USMNT over berhalter. curtin is a weak sauce berhalter, some USOC finals and a couple playoff appearances, with nothing to show for it. you’re almost making my argument for me about “distinctions.”

        you can congratulate a fellow coach for their success without coming across like a fanboy with objectivity issues. reality is curtin has been struggling along there for years and then tanner came along. if you want to sell me that someone is a great coach maybe their success shouldn’t correlate so directly to the ebb and flow of talent.

    • Well, the impressive thing for me is that Curtin has done this by slowly building his team’s performance without spending a lot of money. Philly has traditionally not gone for the big name DP’s. They have a couple of very promising youngsters in McKenzie and Aaronson, but the only real star might be Blake. I was just looking at the estimated market value of their players and there aren’t many above $1 million.There are a lot of rosters that look much better on paper that haven’t done as well as the Union and that must be Curtin’s influence.


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