Shaun Kreider

My time with Jim: Looking at the evolution of Union head coach Jim Curtin

Look, who knows what the future holds.

But I do know looking back from past experience; the Union selected the right man to lead them into it.

I first met Jim Curtin on a Greyhound bus trip to State College. I was going up to see a friend for Arts Fest and he just a college senior was heading up to see his then girlfriend and now wife and mother of his three kids, Jen. While many years has passed since that meeting, I remember the conversation was mostly about soccer, he already an All-Big East and All-America selection at Villanova and me feeling grateful to have him impart some knowledge on me from what’s it’s like to be well on your way to MLS stardom.

Stardom wasn’t immediate.

Curtin as a member of the Chicago Fire in 2001 was lower on then head coach Bob Bradley’s depth chart, so much that he spent a brief stint with a minor league affiliate in Milwaukee. But when his name was finally called, Curtin never relinquished a spot that found him as an MLS All-Star in 2004, a U.S. Open Cup champion and a player that ultimately became revered across the league as not only tough on attackers, but a pretty good guy too.