Before Philadelphia Union departed for Colorado on Wednesday, Head Coach Jim Curtin spoke to the media in his weekly press conference. In case you missed what Coach Curtin had to say, we have three takeaways from his session with the media.
The Status of Fabinho
In the club’s last match against Columbus Crew SC on March 17, Coach Curtin was forced to burn a halftime sub on defender Fabinho. Making a halftime sub is less than desirable, especially when it is due to injury. Fabinho was forced out of the match after injuring his meniscus early in the match.
On Wednesday, Coach Curtin gave an updated timeline for Fabinho and how despite the injury, the club remains optimistic on his recovery.
“If you talk to Fabinho, he says three weeks. So he’s already walking to his credit, he had surgery two days ago. I just shook his hand; he’s putting full weight on the leg without crutches or aid. He did have a cane and the guys gave him some shtick about being an old man.,” Curtin said. “He’s gotten rid of that already which is progress. He’s optimistic, he’s never had a surgery so for a guy who is 33 years-old, it shows he’s taking care of his body very well. I think he’ll be a quick healer because his fitness level is always high. “
Being the Club That Plays Young American Players
The club’s vision for Philadelphia Union has been giving younger players the platform to perform at the First Team level. With the club’s “Path to the Pros” where they develop in the club’s Academy and then work their way to Bethlehem Steel to eventually the First Team has been a model that Philadelphia has seen come to fruition.
The Union now have five players on their roster that not only completed the “Path to the Pros," but have also spent time with United States Men’s National Team groups — particularly the U-20’s. For Coach Curtin, being a desirable place for young American players is a big goal for the club.
“The Philadelphia Union, we’ve preached it for several years now, but you’re starting to actually see it on the field now. We want to be known as the club that all American young kids look to and say they play young American players, I want to go there,” Curtin said. “We’re not just talking about it now, we starting to do it. I think Auston’s (Trusty) success has been real positive; the press that Anthony Fontana got was special. These guys are on the field playing impactful minutes.”
One Last Appearance for Haris
Philadelphia Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin has been away from the club due to international duties with Bosnia-Herzegovina as they competed in international friendlies. Medunjanin appeared in both matches earning his 60th career cap on March 27, 2018 during a nil-nil draw against Senegal. After the match, Medunjanin announced he was retiring from international competition, closing the book on a sensational international career. Coach Curtin expressed his gratitude for his Bosnian midfielder and shared what he means to Philadelphia Union.
“He is a player I think Philadelphia fans are lucky to have, we’re lucky to have him as a coaching staff. When you talk about playing for the badge and you talk about the Tranquillo Barnetta’s and the Haris Medunjanin’s, they’re special guys who aren’t doing this for the money,” Curtin said. “They both came here on what I would call big time discounts, because they wanted new challenges in their careers. They leave everything out on the field for the club.”