Breaking News FutbolMLS.com reports Carlos Valdes will return to the Philadelphia Union "next week"

Who is Jim Curtin?

Who exactly is the Union's new interim head coach. We did a little research to find out

Jim Curtin is a 34 year old Oreland, PA native who played youth soccer in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, even catching a few matches with Chris Albright. Curtin played at Villanova with distinction, was drafted by the Chicago Fire in 2001 and the big (6'4") defender plied his trade in MLS for the next 10 years, lifting the US Open Cup in 2003 and 2006. He retired after he was released by Chivas USA in 2010, returning to the Philadelphia region, eventually landing a job at YSC Sports and serving as the Director of Curriculum Development. His success there with the Union Juniors got him hired as an assistant coach with the Union in 2012.

All that is easy enough to find and really only tells half the story. It doesn't really answer the question of who the man charged with leading the Union in the second half of the 2014 season really is.

He's a husband and a father of three, steeped in Philadelphia culture. He has a degree in Finance from Villanova. He's a union man, having served as the Fire's player representative to the MLS Players Union and even served on the union's executive board. He's a guy who likes working with youth players and knows his way around a training field. He was publicly lauded by John Hackworth for his work as the Director of Curriculum Development at YSC. Remember that this praise came from a John Hackworth that was part of the USSF set up in Bradenton, so that's no small compliment. He is a winner, having raised trophies as both a player and a youth coach, the Union's U-18 won the 2012 Generation ADIDAS Cup.

Although it remains to be seen if he has the chops to drag the Union into the 2014 post season, Curtin is the prototypical Philly guy. A man who would look just as much at home in the dock workers union hall as the MLS players union executive board. He knows this city and these players, he has played at the top level in MLS and has excelled with youth players as a coach. He has all the tools necessary to succeed, the big question is, will he?

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