Curtin countdown
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It wouldn't be the first title for Union under Jim Curtin, but it would be his and club's finest

Winning the U.S. Open Cup wouldn’t be Jim Curtin’s first piece of hardware as coach of a Philadelphia Union team – just his finest piece.

As overseer of the Union Academy before joining the first team ranks, Curtin, led by Union homegrown player Zach Pfeffer, captured the 2012 Generation adidas Cup trophy, the first ever for the club.

Sounds small, but for Curtin it was anything but.

“That [Generation adidas] Cup team was really special,” Curtin told “It was a good run, those kids were very good and we were proud of what we managed to accomplish that year. Winning a trophy though with the first team I know will be a lot tougher and it’s the most important one. I think we have put ourselves in a good spot, but we all know Seattle is going to be a heck of an opponent.”

On Sept. 16 under the lights at PPL Park (7 p.m., purchase tickets), Curtin will once again chase a title for the Union and will be searching for his third U.S. Open Cup crown, but his first as coach.

“This is No. 4 for me,” Curtin said. “I have two wins and a loss and you don’t want to be on the losing end of one of those, it’s a horrible feeling...we don’t want any parts of that especially in front of our fans. We know the atmosphere will be great and we are hoping for a sellout. But personally, this is my fourth one and I want to go 3-1 for sure.”

Since taking over the reins, Curtin has very quietly compiled a 10-2-4 in all competitions most recently coming off a sweep in back-to-back matches against Toronto to put the club back in playoff contention. For Curtin, in many ways it’s been much of how the team has responded to his coaching style and doctrine that has really been a recipe for success.

“I’m very proud of the group, proud of our guys,” said Curtin. “I’m a big believer in ‘you are what your record says you are.’ Our guys and my staff have done a great job putting together a good record, one that we are happy with. There’s confidence in the group…it’s a good group that way. We don’t say a lot publicly about how good we are or about how great we are playing. We are just focused on right now doing our talking on the field.”

Chasing the U.S. Open Cup is nothing new for Curtin. But a chance to do it as manager in his hometown would be the proverbial icing – on an already layered cake.

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at


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