Fans' View

Fans’ View: A question of faith

We Philadelphia Union fans have the privilege of living in and around the birthplace of our nation. As such, our region is steeped in a history in which having faith played a great deal.

When the Continental Congress met at Independence Hall in 1775 to form the Continental Army, they also needed to name a commander. They chose George Washington, a man whose only military experience was in the French and Indian War, which had ended12 years before.

The choice was, in short, a leap of faith.

And through eight years of grave challenges and uncertainty, Washington paid back the faith that had been placed in him, leading the Continental Army to ultimate victory, and the colonies to independence.

Flash forward to 2014 and now we Union fans are asked to have faith in our new head coach.

Does our new coach have the strongest resume, the most experience? Can the front office gather the resources to match what the powerhouses in the league are sure to have?

I don’t know and, frankly, it appears we may be at a disadvantage in both of those categories.

In the East, Coach Curtin and his players will have to take on the deep pockets of the New York Red Bulls, as well as newcomers NYCFC and Orlando City, not to mention old western powerhouses like LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, and new in the west Kansas City.

I do believe, though, that we have one big advantage: Coach Curtin is a local. Philadelphia is his hometown and no one fights harder for their team than a hometown guy.

Jim Curtin will be highly motivated but he still will have to find his “Crossing of the Delaware,” his own “Princeton.” Like Washington, he will be challenged with organizing his men and forming plans on how to best his opponents.

While Curtin and his staff use the offseason to prepare for 2015, we should take the offseason to look back to the beginning of Union and remember how exciting it was to see our team for the first time. Let’s remember the faith that was required to make the Union a reality.

In renewing faith in our club, supporting them as they step up to the challenges on the field of play, let us also give Curtin the chance to lead them. Together we will rise to the highest levels of MLS.

As the Sons of Ben motto says, Ad Finem Fidelis: “Faithful to the End.”


  1. I’ll bet Curtin didn’t think he’d be compared to George Washington this soon. One small correction, though. The French & Indian War ended about a dozen years before the Revolution began rather than 30.

  2. old soccer coach says:

    All credit to Washington; the idea for Yorktown was his once he got the letter from De Grasse saying the French fleet would be available for operations off the North American coast for six weeks during hurricane season. That being said, half the infantry at Yorktown was French [Rocheambeau and St. Simon], all of the siege artillery was French, and the fleet that retired back into the Chesapeake after the Battle of the Capes was entirely French. Rocheambeau’s gesture of allowing Washington to accept Cornwallis’s surrender was magnificent political theatre; he could have claimed the honor legitimately. We Americans routinely ignore these facts.

  3. It is funny, the great debt we owe to the French and how resoundingly I am given shit for wearing Le Bleu’s colors on a regular basis around these parts.
    Easy to forget were it not for their money and brut strength we would likely have been fighting for our independence right up till the Louisiana Purchase was purchased.

  4. Great article! So, have to ask – if Curtin is Washington…any thoughts on who might be Benedict Arnold? 😉

  5. James Lockerbie says:

    Ah, not sure who plays the role of Benedict Arnold (wink,wink), but let’s hope Rene Meulensteen can play the role of Baron von Steuben. The Professionally trained Prussian “General” that reorganized and trained the Continental army at Valley Forge.

  6. I’m tired of hearing the ‘Jim Curtin is a local guy’ argument in defense of this hiring. Does it really matter where the manager was born and raised? Are there not far more important factors to consider?
    Think of some of the greatest coaches/managers of all time: how many of them were local products? Would Green Bay Packer fans have preferred a Wisconsin-bred coach over Vince Lombardi? Did UCLA make a mistake in hiring a basketball coach named John Wooden from the state of Indiana? How about the Yankees and their Missouri-born manager, Casey Stengel? Did Chelsea waste their money on a foreigner named Jose Mourninho?
    I have no idea if Jim Curtin will be a success with the Union or not. I am confident, however, that no one will care that he’s a ‘local guy’ if the team is struggling again next summer.

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