Back in May, the Union welcomed a full house and played out a 0-0 draw with Seattle Sounders. The visitors bunkered and Philly couldn’t ride the wave of noise in Talen Energy Stadium to a victory.
Last Saturday, Jim Curtin went into halftime determined to use his home field advantage to its maximum potential. Down 2-0, he subbed aggressively and turned an ugly battle into a scene of beauty. Ilsinho inspired the comeback, but Curtin’s ability to tweak his system mid-game to take the lead and then remain on the front foot for the final 18 minutes (plus five of Steaz stoppage time) showed a coach willing to fearlessly stick to his principles.
Keep in mind: Not only did the Union come back from 2-0, they only allowed two shots after switching to a 4-2-3-1. Curtin’s adjustments didn’t just turn the game, they kept it turned, and kept the crowd ‘turnt up.’
Afterwards, Curtin said: “I'm sure the first question will be, I have to be the dumbest coach in America that I don't start him every game.”
That question never came, because Curtin is using an incredible resource to its maximum potential.
Jim Curtin is a deserving coach of the week once again. He is currently the only three-time winner in the 2019 season.
And Curtin's team is in first place because he has nailed both the strategy and in-game tactics needed punch back against the biggest spenders in Major League Soccer.