Philadelphia Union assistant coach using 'hands-on' approach in practice

Union assistant coach Jim Curtin works with the team at YSC in King of Prussia. (Photo via Philadelphia Union, File)

The Philadelphia Union are currently training in central Florida, and Kerith Gabriel, the team's digital media manager, has been keeping fans in the know about just what the players are up to with his column, "Daily Doop."

The team had the day off, so today's "Daily Doop" focused on how assistant coach, and Philly-area native, Jim Curtin learns the players' tendencies first hand:

Not too much to report today given the break, but we did catch up with assistant coach Jim Curtin, who ran a portion of yesterday’s session demonstrating by example, when he donned a training top and got involved in Monday’s intersquad scrimmage. Curtin explained the hands-on approach is what works best for him to understand the tendencies of different players.

“A lot of times I am able to still jump in and play and you learn a lot about guys when you play with them,” Curtin said. “You can give them little tips inside and out and you learn what their strengths are as players so it’s very good from an evaluation standpoint to jump in and play.”

Curtin definitely has some experience from his own playing days. A Philly native (Oreland, Pa. to be exact) Curtin was a standout defender at Villanova, and a former MLS All-Star during a 10-year career in the league. He’s taken all that knowledge and parlayed it into a successful coaching career, one that reached the professional ranks when he was hired as the fourth member of the club’s technical staff in November. 

“I do have some experience from my playing days though that was a long, long time ago,” quipped Curtin. “But it’s always good to get out there and share some things with these guys.”

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