It’s Official. Philadelphia Union announced that they’ve agreed with two-time MLS Coach of the Year Jim Curtin on a contract extension that guarantees Curtin to stay in Philadelphia through the 2026 season.
Continuous progress earns both Curtin and Union league-wide respect
The announcement comes just over a week after reports that a deal had been reached between the two parties came to surface from The Athletic’s Tom Bogert. Since taking over during the 2014 season, Curtin and Philly have made continuous steps of progress that have propelled this team as one of Major League Soccer’s top competitors.
Through Curtin’s time in Philadelphia so far, he’s been able to help Union:
- Win their first MLS Cup Playoff game in club history in 2019
- Lead Philadelphia to the club’s first Supporters Shield and earned their first CONCACAF Champions League berth in 2020
- Took Philly to the Semi-Finals in their first CCL run and made it to the MLS Cup Eastern Conference Finals in 2021
- Achieved Union’s best season in club history (points, wins, goals, assists, goal differential, feast goals conceded), finished top in the Eastern Conference, clinched their second CONCACAF Champions League CCL Berth, won the Eastern Conference Finals Trophy, and appeared in the club’s first MLS Cup Final.
All of that has earned Jim Curtin the right to be named the Sigi Schmid MLS Coach of the Year in both the 2020 and 2022 seasons.
Locked up long term
Jim Curtin isn’t the only one Philadelphia has locked in long-term though, and Jim has played an integral part in getting players to buy into his system and the culture surrounding Philly for years to come. In addition to Curtin now being on board through the 2026 season, here’s a list of Philadelphia players already signed on for the future, many of them carrying options for the following season.
Union players signed through 2024
- Mikael Uhre
- Andre Blake
- Jack Elliott
- Richard Odada
Union players signed through 2025
- Daniel Gazdag
- Jakob Glesnes
- Andres Perea
- Jack McGlynn
- Nathan Harriel
- Jose Martinez
Commitment from people that want to be in Philadelphia
One of the more surprising things to hear Jim Curtin speak about in his first press conference after the contract extension announcement was the interest Curtin received not only from clubs domestically, but abroad in Europe as well. It’s not so much the interest that surprised me, but that transparency from Curtin that caught me off guard.
I think it might be Curtin’s attempt at further proving to his front office, coaching staff, players, and fans that he is 100% committed to Philadelphia Union. And from the sounds of it, Jim isn’t the only one off the pitch committed to this club’s future. In his press conference, Jim said an important part of his decision was that Owner Jay Sugarman and Sporting Director Ernst Tanner all agreed on wanting to work together through the 2026 season.
The group has implemented a vision in Philadelphia and it’s worked. The team is competing at the highest level in both domestic and continental competitions, continues to excel at having one of the most fruitful academy programs in MLS and selling talent on to Europe, and has a booming fan base with a reported over 14,000 season ticket members for the 2023 season.
Jim Curtin signing an extension in Philadelphia is a good thing. They’re on a great path at becoming one of the true best clubs in the league. They just need to find that last puzzle piece in order to get over the line and cement that notion in history.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union