Jim Curtin Signs Two-Year Contract Extension

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By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer

The second longest-serving head coach in the MLS is officially staying with the Union for (at least) two more years.

It was announced on June 16 that Jim Curtin had officially put pen to paper and signed a contract extension that would keep him the Union head coach for two more years. It’s not a huge shock to Union fans, seeing as Curtin has been edging closer to the Union’s ultimate goal—an MLS Cup—since he first took the head coaching job in 2014. He’s been behind the Union’s most notable successes, including the Supporters’ Shield in 2020, the best season in Union history in terms of points, goals, assists, and wins in 2019, and seeing the Union to their first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2020. Curtin turned the Union into a powerhouse with one of the youngest rosters and lowest payrolls in MLS.

However, in addition to the fantastic stats and trophies, Curtin also has the personality to make him an extremely likeable coach. Even in a press conference focused on him and his contract extension, Curtin didn’t give himself much of the credit for the Union’s success. To him, owner Jay Sugarman believed in him throughout these seven years. The players are the ones who actually go on the field and get good results. Sporting director Ernst Tanner and technical director Chris Albright are arguably the best in the league at their jobs. It would be easy for him to accept the praise being lavished upon him, but that’s not, and never has been, Curtin’s style.

“I really enjoy the collaboration with Jim,” Tanner told media in a press conference. “He’s a great coach…We are very, very lucky to have a leader like Jim. It’s totally difficult to find people like him.”

It’s clear that Curtin’s colleagues respect him, and are genuinely enthusiastic about keeping him around. Curtin is not the kind of head coach you keep around simply because he wins a lot—it’s because he as a person adds value to the club.

Even though he has so much to brag about at the current moment, Curtin doesn’t even think to do it. Instead, he’s assuring people that he’s going to make the most out of the time he has at the Union because there is still a host of unfinished business.

“I think I’ll know when my time here is done, I think the game tells you that,” Curtin said in his press conference. “But right now, it’s telling me, and I think that, we owe it to the fans and some of our new young signings that there’s still more work to be done here.

Very, very lucky indeed.

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