"I'm still the interim head coach"
After a night where the soccer media bombarded a story reporting that the Union have removed the interim tag from Jim Curtin, the interim head coach revealed that this wasn't true. Perhaps the Union are considering it, but Curtin was in the position to refute such claims that it had already happened.
Curtin's position on the matter is that he is still fighting to remove the tag from his title and that if it weren't for the fight of his players that he wouldn't be in the running. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Curtin coming out and saying thing, but maybe it's just music to my ears hearing a head coach have a no nonsense approach with the media.
A Trip Down to DC
A lot of questions were directed towards the game at the weekend down in DC at RFK Stadium against the DC United. A team that is currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference shouldn't be taken lightly and rightfully so was the major story to report here.
On the home front, all but Ethan White is healthy and the training staff should be applauded for their efforts to maintain the teams health (maybe it's all those bonding baths that the team is taking together...). As for DC, Curtin might have been just playing Uno due to the amount of times he used the word "wildcard". He mentioned a team that was tough to prepare for in DC, due to the plethora of questionable players they have injured or suspended. The list included: Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola, Chris Pontius, and Chris "Rolfy" Rolfe. This quartet of players represents the dangers in a DC lineup, but the core of players playing regularly was also worrisome to Curtin.
Picking out several players (Steve Birnbaum, Sean Franklin, Luis Silva and Davy Arnaud to name a few), Curtin mentioned that it was easy to prepare for this core of guys, but that the wildcards can throw a wrench into any gameplan. Curtin also stated that it was nice to have a wildcard in Eddie Johnson any given day. If only we could be so lucky.
Ethan White and the Revolving Door of Changes
Ethan White was jogging in practice as of today and Manager Curtin was optimistic about seeing their current favorite at center back be able to play on the weekend. Curtin was, however, none too pleased about the lack of credit White has received in recent weeks, going on to mention discussions in media circles about Maurice Edu vs Amobi Okugo. The dismissal of White irks the manager as White has been a handful on the field and bailed out the Union on a number of occasions according to Curtin. White is high on Curtin's list and admits that many coaches in MLS see him this way as well and thinks that there is enough evidence in "big boy games" (I wonder if we have a shot at that trophy) for the general public to also perceive him in such a light.
As for continuity in a rotating line-up it seemed as though Curtin answered the question immediately by stating, "They're good players so they can handle it." After rattling off the summary of the last three matches, Curtin reiterated his faith in the defense and then things got weird.
Personally I've been waiting for a moment over the course of a few press conferences with Curtin where he says something that baffles me. He is a step down in the comedy level of Hackworth who routinely dumbfounded me during pressers. Curtin is far more straightforward and while it isn't as fun, it's certainly what I'd prefer. On the other hand, I look forward to writing about something that makes me laugh. Curtin has obliged.
Maybe I'm analyzing too closely, but this was the first answer that Curtin gave that really sounded like a rambling man. Rumbling through the results, Curtin approached a moment where his question was answered and could've left it be. But then he couldn't control himself and did three things:
1. Mentioned a topic from earlier in the press conference
- Hindsight being a part of the analyzing performances process that every fan does and that hindsight is wonderful thing but doesn't really help the situation.
2. Made a really weird joke
- His World War II joke made me laugh really hard in reference to how ridiculous hindsight can get, "If Germany won World War II, there wouldn't be MLS." A career in stand-up is an avenue you should consider if this doesn't work out for you, Jim.
3. Spit out a favorite tagline of his
- "Moral victories". The Union are not a team who looks for moral victories anymore and I love the phrasing, but I think Curtin might like it a little too much.
I think this might be a sign that working under Nick Sakiewicz is causing Curtin to go into the loony bin.