Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin is being targeted by FC Cincinnati to assume the same position at the fellow Eastern Conference club as they seek to rebuild under general manager Chris Albright, according to a report from The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal.
Curtin signed a multi-year contract extension with Philadelphia in June and has been at the helm of the club since 2014. That tenure overlapped with Albright, who served as Philadelphia’s technical director before being hired by Cincinnati in October to fill the vacancy left by Gerard Nijkamp’s departure.
Addressing FCC’s coaching search in a Tuesday media availability, Albright maintained that they’re looking to have someone in place by Christmas and have honed in on a few candidates.
“We're looking for someone with MLS experience, someone that's been around winning cultures, winning teams in this league,” Albright said. “Someone that understands the mechanics and the difficulties of getting players to this league, and at the same time embraces those difficulties. Someone that has really wrapped their arms around MLS and accepted it for what it is and has had success within that construct.”
Curtin would certainly fit that mold, having led Philadelphia to the 2020 Supporters’ Shield title and to their first-ever Eastern Conference Final in this year’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. That game will be hosted Sunday against New York City FC at Subaru Park, with Curtin’s Union seeking an MLS Cup 2021 spot (3 pm ET | ABC, ESPN Deportes). They're not among MLS' highest-spending clubs but have forged ahead by blending a top-end academy with shrewd international and domestic signings.
Cincy are seeking their fourth full-time head coach since entering MLS as an expansion club in 2019, having parted ways with Jaap Stam in late September. They’ve finished bottom of the overall league table each year, going 14W-59L-18D across that span with a negative-105 goal differential.
While Cincy have yet to taste on-field success, they opened state-of-the-art TQL Stadium this year and ownership has shown a willingness to spend on core players like attacking midfielder Luciano Acosta, forward Brenner and defender Geoff Cameron.
Now, Albright is charged with turning that foundation into positive results, fusing the Queen City’s vibrant soccer culture with a team that performs.