CHESTER, Pa.– Jim Curtin will be returning to the Philadelphia Union for the 2019 campaign.
Curtin, who was out of contract at the end of the 2018 season, was confirmed as the manager for next season during the club’s postseason news conference Monday afternoon.
“This wasn’t a surprise for me,” Curtin said. “We had talks dating back right when Ernst got here and they were healthy discussions.”
“Jim led us to playoffs for the second time in a three-year period,” Union sporting director Ernst Tanner said. “His relationship with the players from what I have seen is very, very good and he’s an expert at developing young players, which will be a clear focus in the future as well.”
“During the election for Coach of the Year, he was selected fourth and that is quite an external view and I would say given this we should work together.”
The 2019 season will be Curtin’s fourth full year in charge for the Union, a club he took over on an interim basis in 2014 after John Hackworth was let go.
“This will be my fifth season at a pro soccer club, which is a long time,” Curtin said. “I recognize there’s been a lot of change. I’ve been involved with a lot of different people. I think it is a little bit of a reflection that no matter who I’ve worked with, they’ve found good qualities in what I do.”
Curtin was appointed as full-time manager ahead of the 2015 season, and he’s guided the club to three U.S. Open Cup finals and two playoff appearances.
Despite coming up short at the end of the 2018 season, Curtin guided the team to its best season ever, eclipsing 50 points for the first time in franchise history and leading it to its third-ever playoff berth.
“I think it’s shown this year in particular nationally with people giving me recognition,” Curtin said. “I do understand the microscope in Philadelphia shines a little tougher. It comes with the territory of coaching in Philadelphia. I understand that. I’ve never really hid from that. I think I’ve been honest and up front with everybody and I have a good idea where I stand with people at the club.”