Union

Union shed interim tag, name Jim Curtin manager

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Union shed interim tag, name Jim Curtin manager

The agreement was reached, the papers were signed and the manager was announced.

At Chickie’s and Pete's South Philly on Friday, the Union officially removed the interim tag and presented Philadelphia native Jim Curtin as the club’s third manager.

“The title changes with me but the message is the same — I’m here to win,” Curtin said. “I have to push this team forward in that regard. I’m here to win and get this team back in the playoffs where we belong.”

After an exhaustive search for a high-profile bench boss, Union CEO & operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, who said he received over 200 inquiries, couldn't ignore Curtin’s success with the Union.

“I said at that time that we would go on an extensive search for our first-team coach,” Sakiewicz said. “I asked Jim Curtin to take over as interim coach and caretaker of the team. And boy did he take care of the team — 17 games unbeaten in 23. He did a great job.”

Sakiewicz continued praising his new manager.

“Jim is the perfect fit to lead our first team because he worked through our system, he understands our great fans, partners and community, and shares our burning passion to deliver a winning product on the field,” Sakiewicz said. “He’s played in the league and knows what it takes to be successful in Major League Soccer. Jim has proven he’s a winner as a player and coach.”

Considered a temporary bandage following the firing of John Hackworth midway through the 2014 season, the 35-year-old Curtin led the Union to a 10-6-7 record and Open Cup final, which the Union lost in a tightly battled contest with the Seattle Sounders.

But despite the Open Cup loss and missing the postseason, the rookie manager received enough of a response from his players on the field to claim the head coaching position.

“For the fans that will question a 35-year-old, a young coach, that’s natural, it’s normal,” Curtin said. “I ask you to give me an offseason, a full offseason, and see what we can come up with. I promise you we’re going to work to bring in great players and improve the roster that’s already very strong.”

A center back in his playing days, playing nine years in MLS between the Chicago Fire and Chivas USA, Curtin’s thumbprint on the Union will be an emphasis on defense and quality defenders.

“We’ll build with a strong defense,” he said. “Someone needs to stop the David Villas and Kakas that are coming in. We’re not going to be the club that spends 70 million dollars on three different [designated players], that will not be us. We’re going to build from the back. We’re going to add speed and we’re going to get bigger, stronger and faster.”

Although Curtin said he intends to add speed in order to open up plays for guys like Vincent Nogueira and Cristian Maidana, the club’s style of play is still up in the air.

“Until you have success and championships as a team, you can’t claim a style,” he said. “I believe in ideas and principles in a league that’s moving forward right now, and ways to attack that.”

On-field plans aside, Curtin will work to instill a team culture based on honesty, respect and accountability — a reflection of their coach and the city he’s from.

“More so than any city, more than L.A., more than Chicago, more than New York, your reputation in this town is earned every day, you have to earn your respect and you earn your right to play,” he said. “It’s honest, it’s real, and I plan on operating transparently.”

Over 40,000 fans already have tickets to watch USWNT friendly match on August 29 in Philadelphia

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USA Today Images/Michael Chow

Over 40,000 fans already have tickets to watch USWNT friendly match on August 29 in Philadelphia

Do you want to watch the best women's soccer team in the world?

For over 40,000 fans who have bought tickets to the U.S. women's national team's friendly match against Portugal on Aug. 29 at Lincoln Financial Field, the answer is evidently yes.

According to the USWNT, the World-Cup winning team's match at the Linc has a good shot to set an attendance record for a stand-alone USWNT friendly match. 

The current record is the 44,028 fans who attended an match at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh against Costa Rica in August of 2015.

The USWNT have local ties in forward Carli Lloyd, a Delran, New Jersey, native who's scored 114 goals in an incredible international career, and in midfielder Julie Ertz, a key member of the World Cup winners in 2015 and 2019. Her husband, Zach Ertz, has played at the Linc a few times over the last six years.

You can find information about the team's Victory Tour and buying tickets for the match at the Linc here

Alejandro Bedoya makes on-field statement about gun violence during Union's win over D.C. United

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USA Today Images/Scott Taetsch

Alejandro Bedoya makes on-field statement about gun violence during Union's win over D.C. United

BOX SCORE 

WASHINGTON — Alejandro Bedoya made a statement about gun violence in the nation's capital.

After scoring the opening goal in the Philadelphia Union's 5-1 victory over D.C. United on Sunday night, Bedoya ran to an on-field microphone and shouted to the crowd: "Hey Congress, do something now! End gun violence! Let's go!"

Bedoya earlier tweeted about recent gun violence in Texas and Ohio that killed 29 people.

The 32-year-old Bedoya has played for the U.S. national team.

Bedoya first-timed a right-footer off the post into the net to give Philadelphia (12-7-6) the lead in the third minute. Union goalkeeper played a clearance into the left side of the attacking half where Andrew Wooten won the ball from defender Donovan Pines and crossed it to Marco Fabian, who fed Bedoya for the finish from just outside the box.

Marco Fabian had two goals and an assist for the Union.

Fabian side-footed a first-timer, off a cross from Kai Wagner, in first-half stoppage time and, after a United turnover, Kacper Przybylko's side-netter made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute.

Frederic Brillant scored in the 54th for D.C. (9-7-9). Fabian struck again in the 70th minute, and Fabrice-Jean Picault capped the scoring in 90th.

United, which was outshot 26-11 and is winless in its last three games, played a man down after Junior Moreno was shown a straight red card in the 40th for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity.