Rene Meulensteen’s first managerial tenure in England might have ended in disappointment, but the ex-Fulham boss could be set for a new role in MLS.
According to local reports, the Dutchman is being lined up for the vacant head coaching role at the Philadelphia Union, beating out current interim Jim Curtin, who has filled the position since John Hackworth’s sacking on June 10.
Meulensteen had been linked to the job for several weeks earlier this summer, but rumours died down following Curtin’s successful start at the helm, with the former Chicago Fire centre-back guiding the Union to 10 wins and four draws in their past 16 games, as well as to the upcoming US Open Cup final, which could see the club claim their first-ever piece of silverware.
That record has lead most fans to call for the Philadelphia-native to be handed the role full-time but, despite numerous players hailing his impact on the squad, the front office clearly has different ideas.
Meulensteen remains well-regarded from his time spent on the Manchester United coaching staff from 2001 to 2013, but his recent attempts to prove himself as a manager have been met with failure, with a two-week spell at Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala at the start of the 2013-14 season followed up with a disappointing three months in charge of the later-relegated Fulham.
It’s unclear how familiar he is with the various rules and regulations of MLS but, given how Curtin has done more than enough to keep the job on a permanent basis at this point, his appointment could be considered the riskier option, despite trumping his rival in the experience stakes.