The Union have endured a terrible start to the season, picking up just two points, and have now lost three on the bounce after Sunday’s 3-2 heartbreaking late loss to Sporting Kansas City.
M’Bolhi was poor in that defeat and the 28-year-old ‘keeper has conceded nine goals from 20 shots this season – recording the worst save percentage of all starting goalkeepers in MLS so far (50%).
Curtin revealed in today’s press conference that M’Bolhi will not start in goal against New York City FC on Saturday, and his long-term future with the club has immediately come under question.
“Rais M’Bolhi will not be playing in goal. John McCarthy will be our starter and Andre Blake will back him up,” Curtin said. “Just to be clear on that, it was my decision. A decision that was made based on performance and it’s what I think is best for Rais and for the Philadelphia Union moving forward.
“I talked with him [M’Bolhi] yesterday about it and he doesn’t seem like himself. He didn’t seem like the goalkeeper that I saw single-handedly winning us games in preseason. His confidence was gone. I think it’s best for the team if he’s not with the group.
“He’s an experienced player who we needed to rise to the occasion in big games and win us matches but right now he’s not doing that. It could still happen down the road but right now it’s not so we’ll move forward without him.”
Curtin revealed after the press conference that M’Bolhi was not in the country and it is unclear at this point how long that will be the case.
The Algerian ‘keeper is one of the highest paid in MLS between the sticks and he would be a costly burden to carry without playing so if McCarthy and Blake can impress enough, M’Bolhi looks to have played his last game for Philadelphia.
Curtin went on to take full responsibility for the Union’s poor start but believes that he can get the team back on track.
“As the head coach, I’m responsible for all the decisions that are made here. I have the final say. I make the decisions to move this team forward. I’m responsible for our three losses as well.
“I’m a guy that has been honest and upfront with the press and I think coaches in this league are a lot like quarterbacks – they get a lot of praise when things are going well and they deserve to take the heat when things aren’t going so well.
“I make the decisions and have to live with them, and I have to get this team back in form.”
Do you think Rais M’Bolhi has a future with Philadelphia Union?