Seattle Sounders faces off with Orlando City SC today, but Jim Curtin is already preparing for the Western Conference power to arrive in Philadelphia this weekend. Even after knocking off the team that went up against TFC in two consecutive MLS Cups, Curtin knows his team needs to be ready for a huge challenge with a one-loss team coming in. "I think you guys are starting to see a team that is confident, very organized defensively, can hit you quick on the counter attack. I think our two goals are indicative of Union-type goals with the system and style Ernst instills."
Shout-out to the coaches
Curtin also noted that the success the Union have had recently reflects the hard work of his coaching staff. "I have three assistants that are all head-coach-caliber assistants," he proclaimed without ego. "Pat Noonan, obviously a guy at the top of most lists to get a job in this league, Dick Schreuder, who has already been a head coach with a wealth of knowledge from Europe, and Oka Nikolov, same thing, has done it at the hardest level and has taken a much bigger role with us this year. All three of them are ready to be head coaches.
"The work that they’ve done with the players is the reason we are where we are."
Marco Fabián picked up a minor knock, or re-aggravated his ankle injury, but Andre Blake looks on the mend for this weekend.
"I could tell he was laboring," Curtin admitted when asked about Fabián. "And it’s just not 100 percent.
"He wants to help, he wants to be back on the field as quickly as possible but at the same time we have to be smart. He got tests again and everything is fine on the tests but maybe they might be looking at maybe you can release the fluid that is in there with the swelling to try and drain it and make it a little more comfortable for him and that’s something they are in the process of doing now. I hope he’s ready for the weekend but again it will be close.”
On Blake, the news was far more positive. "I think he’ll be available and ready to go against Seattle, that’s the goal right now but it looks like Andre is fully back with us which is a great thing to have," the head coach said.
Jamiro Monteiro loan
Workrate, selflessness, intuition.
Curtin was clear that Jamiro Monteiro has begun to show the qualities that made him a big target for the Union, and he said the club would love to keep the Cape Verde international. "He’s been great in training everyday and has the right mindset and mentality and is a really special player," Curtin said.
Still, the coach wouldn't comment on any negotiations. "I don’t want to mess up any of the dialogue that is going on back and forth," he smiled.
Curtin and the Union take on Seattle Sounders this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Talen Energy Stadium.
Tickets are available here.