Major League Soccer

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin names New England as biggest rival

Lizzy Becherano
Jim Curtin ahead of Philadelphia Union v DC United
Jim Curtin ahead of Philadelphia Union v DC United / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Head coach Jim Curtin has claimed Bruce Arena’s New England Revolution are the biggest rivals for Philadelphia Union.

Curtin’s side currently sits fourth on the MLS Eastern Conference table with 24 points in 16 matches. Though he expects to take his team further, at this moment the Philadelphia Union would qualify for Major League Soccer playoffs.

Jim Curtin
Curtin during the game against Inter Miami / Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

“Right now, I think we're a good team," he said on the latest episode of MLS podcast The Call Up. "We're not a great team yet, and that's okay. I'm alright with that. We're right at about the midway point. I think we can compete and we can play with anybody right now, but we're not the finished product."

The team learned to adapt and cope after selling star players Brenden Aaronson to RB Salzburg and Mark McKenzie to K.R.C. Genk. Curtin admitted to being proud of his side, but maintains that the New England Revolution remains the toughest in the conference.

“I think New England’s the team to beat in our conference,” Curtin told co-hosts Susannah Collins and Jillian Sakovits.

“Bruce Arena, again, he's such a winner. Look, there's great coaches all throughout this league, but it does speak to the importance of experience in MLS and knowing this league.”

New England leads the Eastern Conference with 33 points in 16 games, recording 10 wins, three draws and three losses. The team is currently seven points clear from other sides as the race for second and third is within reach with a one point difference.

Kacper Przybylko, Sergio Santos
Philadelphia Union celebrate their goal against Inter Miami / Mark Brown/Getty Images

"More than ever, it's really, really tight after the top teams in each conference. You're a win out of second place and you're a loss from being out of the playoffs," Curtin added.

"Part of that, and the thing that doesn't get brought up, we don't get to play the West Coast teams anymore. It's sad. I miss the trips to Vancouver and to LA. But what happens with that now is that we're taking points from each other every week. There's no ability to separate, so it's going to come down to the wire."