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Three Questions: Sounders at Union

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Matt from The Brotherly Game stopped by for a lovely chat

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Sounder at Heart: The Union are currently sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference, just where everyone had them in their predictions this preseason. What’s been the key to their success?

The Brotherly Game: Everyone picked them to be second? I don’t remember that. Most folks here were saying somewhere between 7 and 4, so I would say they have exceeded expectations so far. The key to their success has been how they’ve overcome adversity and bought into the “next man up” mentality. That they are off to the start they’ve had with only limited returns from their two biggest offseason signings (Fabian and Santos) has been something to behold. There’s a lot of belief and confidence in the new system installed by new sporting director Ernst Tanner, and head coach Jim Curtin has been striking gold with his second-half substitutions. They have been lights-out in the second half as well, which has enabled them to turn would-be losses into points.

SAH: Jim Curtin is currently on the last year of his deal. Is he expected to stick around or are the Union looking to find a replacement?

TBG: This is a great question. Ernst Tanner brought him back on another one-year deal so he could evaluate how he would adapt to some of the changes in philosophy, and given the success so far it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for them to part ways. There’s still a lot of soccer left to be played this season, but early indicators have been good for Curtin.

SAH: The Union just traded David Accam to Columbus, who then traded him to Nashville. Why did the Union trade their leading scorer?

TBG: There are a few reasons. Accam wanted to play more and be the every day starter again, the Union were paying him a lot to not start every week, and Tanner needs all the resources he can muster to hang onto Jamiro Monteiro, who has proven himself to be invaluable to this team in the midfield since being loaned in from FC Metz.

When the reverse questions are posted, we will link them here.