Press Conference / Union

The Union and Jim Curtin remain quiet on the Earnie Stewart rumors

Photo: Paul Rudderow

With reports circulating that Philadelphia Union sporting director Earnie Stewart is “in negotiations” to become the general manager of the U.S. national team, it’s safe to wonder how his current club feels about his seemingly-imminent departure.

“Since Earnie’s first interview with U.S. Soccer, we have respected their process, and as such, we will decline further comment until a final decision has been made,” Union PR communicated to PSP.

The Union’s decision to keep quiet on the rumors is almost karmic. Silence would be a fitting farewell to a man so clandestine in his approach.

Under Stewart, transfer rumors have been non-existent— save for the whispers of agents and gossipy foreign clubs. Trialists have only only identified through the George Smiley-like sleuthing of sideline reporters.

No news was broken until the official press release.

Philadelphia head coach Jim Curtin toed the company line when asked about Stewart during his weekly press conference at Talen Energy Stadium.

“The club’s made a statement regarding Earnie,” said Curtin. “We’re incredibly fortunate to have him here. I can’t really talk and speculate.”

Despite that initial corporate response, Curtin did ever-so-slightly reveal a bit about what Stewart means to both the coach and the organization.

“Earnie is our leader,” said Curtin.

“Talented people get talked about a lot in the soccer world, and Earnie is no different,” stated the coach. “People that have a lot to offer are hot commodities, and I would say that Earnie is because he’s very good at what he does.”

Curtin was straight-forward when asked if Stewart’s move to the national team was a distraction, responding with a simple, “No.”

But distraction or not, it looks increasingly like the Union will have to find a new leader sooner rather than later.

Curtin’s tidbits
  • The Union announced this afternoon that their first U.S. Open Cup match against Richmond Kickers will be Tue. June 5, at 7 p.m.
  • “C.J. [Sapong] is feeling much better than he did preparing for last week,” said Curtin. “He played hurt for us last game.” Expect Sapong to start this weekend.
  • How about a different Union forward? “Jay Simpson is a professional,” stated Curtin. “He continues to work hard in training. He’ll be ready when called in.”
  • And on a different disappointing player? “David Accam is frustrated production-wise.” said Curtin. “Here comes another Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday situation with some tough teams to play against. David will certainly be getting opportunities in the coming days.”
  • On the Union’s next opponent, “Jesse Marsch’s got a team that’s among the best in our league,” and is “the standard” for the high press.
  • Curtin offered his insight on the health of two of the Red Bull’s biggest weapons, midfielder Tyler Adams and full back left back Kemar Lawrence, “I believe they’re both going to be on the field.”
  • On the danger of forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, “He sets their lines in terms of pressing and pressing cues. He works hard… an MVP type of player right now.”
  • On the rivalry, “I think it starts with the fan bases. They don’t like each other. Philly-New York is a real thing.”

4 Comments

  1. “He played hurt for us last game.” – then why did we play him?
    “Jay Simson is a professional,” stated Curtin. “He continues to work hard in training. He’ll be ready when called in.” – who are you trying to convince because no one believes he will ever see the field.

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