'U.S. Soccer can't talk like Argentina' - Jim Curtin scolds clubs for refusing to release American players to U20 World Cup

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Jim Curtin Alejandro Garnacho GFX
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Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin has scolded clubs for refusing to release U.S. Soccer youngsters for the U20 World Cup.
  • U20 World Cup later this month
  • Pukstas, Gutierrez and Brady among absentees
  • Curtin says club decisions bad for U.S. Soccer

WHAT HAPPENED? Curtin has come out swinging after a number of clubs, including the Chicago Fire and Hajduk Split, have refused to allow USMNT prospects to link up with the U20 squad and play in the upcoming tournament. He claimed that the country is talking "like Argentina" where its young players earn massive salaries and are often picked up by elite European clubs, while he feels U.S. Soccer and clubs with American players should be more respectful to competitions such as the U20 World Cup.

Manchester United, for example, won't release Argentina wonderkid Alejandro Garnacho to the tournament despite it being held in his home country. But Curtin believes things should be different for U.S. players, and the manager said his own club's youngsters would be free to participate in the U20 World Cup.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We’re not Spain, we’re not Germany, we’re not Argentina," Curtin told reporters. "We haven’t won a World Cup ever. Let’s try to win every competition at the youth level and show we have great players because we do.

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"Rather than the confusion of acting like we are them, I think sometimes you'll hear it from different sporting directors or coaches and they'll say things like development, development, development, but then it comes time and they say 'well I can't sacrifice points here or I'll get fired' or whatever may happen. I think we all need to be in this together, to really be about and not just talk about it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Curtin has long been regarded as one of the most forward-thinking coaches in MLS and has impressed with Union. He even admitted that he would love to work with the USMNT senior team, potentially as an assistant, after Gregg Berhalter left following the last World Cup.


Jim Curtin

Jack McGlynn Philadelphia Union 2021

WHAT NEXT? The U20s kick off the World Cup against Ecuador on May 20 and will also play Fiji and Slovakia in Group B.

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