The reshaping of the Philadelphia Union this offseason continues with an intriguing twist as the club will announce on Friday a role for established European soccer coach René Meulensteen with the club.
Meulensteen, whose resume includes a stint at venerable English Premier League side Manchester United as an assistant and most recently with Fulham as an assistant. A league source tells Metro that Muelensteen will be a consultant “to assist with the sporting director structure” of the club. He has been linked to the team over the past half-a-year, with erroneous reports this past summer saying that he would be hired as head coach.
It is a bold move for the Union to say the least and will provide much needed support for current technical director Chris Albright, who has made several solid moves in recent months to shore up the team. Pair this Meulensteen hiring along with last week's news that Jim Curtin would be hired full time since being interim head coach this summer and the Union certainly will have a new direction.
Metro broke the news in late September that Curtin would be named as head coach on a full-time basis, a decision that was made permanent and official after the end of the regular season.
Under Curtin's direction as interim head coach, the team rebounded well from a sluggish start to to the season work their way into playoff position over the final month of the season; in addition the team made the final of the U.S. Open Cup. With some budget flexibility this offseason and a good young core in place, the franchise could be pointed towards a second playoff appearance since their inception in 2010.