Jim Curtin has been at Philadelphia Union since 2014, his side lost in the final of MLS Cup to Los Angeles FC last year but it could be time for a new challenge for the American coach.
MLS insider Tom Bogert revealed on Twitter today that “Two-time MLS Coach of the Year Jim Curtin is still without a new contract. Curtin’s current deal with the Philadelphia Union expires at the end of 2023. Talks are ongoing between the Union and Curtin, but nothing is close.”
The U.S. men’s national team is still without a head coach after Gregg Berhalter’s contract was not extended. With Curtin’s contract expiring this year, it could be that he is holding out for the USMNT job.
Would Jim Curtin make a good USMNT manager?
Curtin is very experienced, he has been the head coach of the Philadelphia Union for nine years. However, in that time he has won just the Supporter’s Shield with the club.
He is someone who understands American soccer more than most, having spent his entire playing career in the country as well with spells at Chicago Fire and Chivas USA.
Having never coached or played in Europe may count against him though, especially as the current USMNT roster is predominantly made up of players that are with European sides.
Who else is in contention?
Other names that have been linked with the job are Jose Mourinho, Jesse Marsch, Thierry Henry and Berhalter could also still be considered.
Mourinho would be a very ambitious target. He is currently the manager of AS Roma and although he was linked with coaching Portugal, it is hard to see him leaving the club game for the USMNT right now.
Marsch is available after being sacked by Leeds United early in the year. He came close to joining Southampton but they could not agree on a deal due to the length of the contract offered. This seemed strange as if he did not do well at the Saints then he would be fired anyway.
The American coach does seem to be committed to the club game for the time being but if an opportunity in Europe does not come about soon, then he could be swayed to take charge of his country’s national team.
Henry has reportedly turned down the chance to manage the France women’s team as he wants to be the USMNT head coach. The New York Red Bulls player lacks experience as a manager but has spent time as an assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium where he has been to two World Cups.
The prospect of Berhalter returning seems unlikely but he recently got the backing of Christian Pulisic in an interview with ESPN. When asked if he would be content if Berhalter returned, Pulisic replied, “Yeah, no doubt, no doubt about it. I think the strides that we’ve taken in recent years with him in charge, have been evident. I think it’s quite clear.”
The new head coach for the USMNT is still up in the air, especially as there is still no sporting director or general manager in place.