Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin was recognized for his efforts this season as he finished third in votes for the Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year award. Curtin finished behind Dome Torrent, who led New York City FC to the best record in the Eastern Conference after a slow start to the season, and overall winner Bob Bradley, who led second-year franchise LAFC to a Supporters’ Shield while setting a new single-season points record with 72.
Curtin, who finished with average of 13.11% of the votes for the award (7.59% from players, 19.9% from clubs and 12.36% from media), led the Union to its best season in franchise history as they accumulated a team-record 55 points (16-7-11). His efforts led to the Union being able to host their first playoff game at Talen Energy Stadium since 2011, which they took advantage of last week with a 4-3 victory over rival New York Red Bulls.
The Oreland native and Villanova alum has been a part of the organization since starting out as a coach in the academy in 2010. He became a first team assistant in 2013 before taking over as interim manager after the firing of now-Louisville City FC head coach John Hackworth during the 2014 season. After the Union’s great start to this season, Curtin was able to sign a two-year extension, which keeps him as the head coach through the 2021 season.
Since taking over, Curtin has led the team to three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Runners-up (2014, 2015, and 2018). Also, with the victory over the Red Bulls, the Union won their first ever playoff game after being unsuccessful in their four previous attempts.
Although Curtin has been scrutinized through much of his tenure as the Union head coach, he was able to help the team make a huge leap this season, and Major League Soccer recognized his efforts to help the team as well.