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Jim Curtin named 2020 MLS Coach of the Year

Curtin beat out Oscar Pareja for the honor for the first time in his career

Carl Gulbish

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin was named the 2020 Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year on Tuesday, beating out Orlando City’s Oscar Pareja for the honor.

Curtin finished with 43.68 percent of the overall vote from media, players and club officials. Pareja garnered 24.02 percent.

“Behind every great team is a great leader,” Ray Gaddis said in a video of the team telling him he had won the award. “Our leader is Jim Curtin.”

Curtin began his coaching career as a youth coach for the team in 2010 and became an assistant in 2012. That year he also coached a U17 team to a Generation adidas Cup trophy. He took over as head coach in 2014 and led the team to three U.S. Open Cup finals before finally capturing a major trophy this season with the Supporters’ Shield.

After Ben Olsen was fired earlier this season, the Oreland, Pa. native became the second longest tenured coach in MLS, which illustrates the trust and patience the organization has placed in him.

That patience has paid off now that the Union are the top seed heading into the postseason and favorites to win MLS Cup, something that barely seemed like a possibility when the season opened in late February much less in previous years when making the playoffs was considered a feat.