Three games and three wins. It hasn't been necessarily pretty for the Union in those three games but you can't argue with the results. It took two extra times to advance to the US Open Cup Quarterfinals and I think it's worth mentioning it was against two lower division teams. Saturday's match, however, was against a team that came through Philadelphia about a month ago and dropped 5 goals on a very poor Union.
The Union responded by winning 3-1 in Foxboro against that same team in Jim Curtin's MLS head coaching debut.
It's rather convincing that the Union have not lost under Curtin and perhaps it's just the result of a changing of the guard, but the new interim manager is making a strong case for himself.
Is it convincing enough to consider him as our next manager?
Let's see what the other contributors to Brotherly Game think below.
JC Escobar - No, too soon. He would have to sustain it for the rest of the year for me to even consider him.
Barry Evans- It's convinced me he has more tactical sense than Hackworth, but I don't think he will or should be given the job permanently. Remember how impressed we were with Hackworth's start as the stand-in? Let's see how he deals with troubles to see if he can even be a candidate.
Nicholas Youngstein - No, though I'm surprised they beat New England, who generally score goals versus Union.
Eugene Rupinski - Jim Curtin has seemingly righted the ship thus far, however remember he's had only one win against MLS competition. I would like to see him continue on to see how he does, however I would NOT want to remove the interim tag right now. If he can continue with this run of form, if he can win the US Open Cup, if he can make a playoff run, then yes by all means let's have that conversation in November and December. Otherwise I feel like the search for a permanent manager should continue in earnest.
William Murphy - "New Manager" bump. Keep searching and come December or January, revisit the issue. No offense to Curtin, but this is the time to pay for a proven winner.
Justin F. - It's been a good start, but I'd hold out before making any judgments about his ability. He has only managed one MLS league game and the two U.S. Open Cup matches he managed were against sides in lower tiers of U.S. soccer. That said, if he can show a sustainable run of success with good thoughts behind it I have no problem with him receiving an extension beyond this season. But until he is given time to illustrate whether he can or cannot do that, the search for an external hire should continue.
I will say after sitting in person to witness two horrible performances in the US Open Cup, in which the Union decided to play only after Harrisburg City and New York scored, that I was not very excited for the Union to return to MLS play. There was a special type of apathy towards the Union's first match after the World Cup break coming against the team that had steamrolled Philadelphia in their previous meeting.
As with every time I go into an apathetic state in my roller coaster ride of a relationship with the Philadelphia Union, they drew me back. In a complete performance the Union sat back and hit on the counter. Sebastien Le Toux revived old memories and struck twice, once as the reliable opportunist and again as the old pinpoint finisher we know and love. Even Danny Cruz turned my jeers into cheers through a positive performance by striking a beautiful goal past former Union keeper Brad Knighton.
There was space defensively, but the Union only conceded once to the Union tormenter Saer Sene. Perhaps the Union got lucky defensively on occasion, but there were moments when they performed spectacularly. Zac MacMath does not leave any doubt that he is an astounding shot stopper and his ability was on display again on Saturday.
The team played well and Jim Curtin has most likely been the positive change the players needed. Michael Lahoud tweeted that there was a new team in town and I think that philosophy has been brought about by the new interim coach. I won't say that I'm ready to remove that interim tag by any stretch of the imagination, but this team is in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals and if you look at the standings the playoffs aren't too far away.
Jim Curtin might not be the coach for the long term, but maybe his introduction will save this season into something salvageable.
Please answer the poll below and leave us your thoughts in the comments!