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John Hackworth in quotes

Photo: Mike Servedio

New interim Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth is no stranger. He’s been with the club since its first match, has managed the team in Peter Nowak’s absences, and was often considered Nowak’s right hand man. All of these things point to the on-field product not changing drastically as he moves into the manager role.

But the new coach did admit that some change could be coming.

We take a look at some of the quotes by Hackworth as he addressed the media as head coach for the first time.

Hackworth, on possible changes

“I can tell you that I’m not Peter Nowak. I’m John Hackworth. And I do things the way that I’ve done it as a head coach and work with my staff and players. I believe in the players we have right now. We have a young locker room, We’re one of the youngest teams in the league. There’s guys in there that are fighting and scrapping every day and want a chance. So from ownership and the support that I have been given you know there’ll be some changes, there’ll be some new faces out there. but at the same time, as nick said, really we’ve played some really good soccer this year. Our record does not reflect how good we are. And so it’s not like you’re going to see a whole new team or lineup out there on Saturday, for sure.”

He continued later in the press conference saying, “I think with any change that takes place like this. Guys are going to hopefully take it the best way possible and look at it as a new opportunity of sorts.”

Hackworth, on the transfer window

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to potentially make some moves. But right now, we do want to concentrate on the guys that are in our locker room. Make sure they know we believe in them. Have faith in them. That they were brought here for a reason. And I think any decision we make going forward is going to be in that line.”

Hackworth, about being judged on the line up he puts out on Saturday

“You’re not going to be able to tell on Saturday. You’re not going to be able to tell at the end of July. You don’t change things overnight. We have a lot of work to do. So Saturday, what we hope for is that we put our best foot forward and compete the way every player and coach wants it to happen…

“Peter, again, he’s a great soccer person, you know, and our philosophy as far as playing is very similar. And I don’t think we’re going to try and change stylistically from what Peter believed in. Will we do some things different? For sure. We always wanted to play attacking soccer. We want a team that presses high up the field. We want to get numbers forward. Create numerical advantages. Be an attractive team to watch. Have a good style. Be very hard. One thing I love about this city, about this club, is how tough everybody is.”

So what’s it mean?

All of this probably doesn’t mean you are going to see Antoine Hoppenot and Chandler Hoffman starting up top together any time soon. And there probably won’t be a drastic change to the formation.

But hopefully it gives the guys that seemed to be slightly out of favor a renewed opportunity to at least compete for time. Could Jack Mac return from the doghouse? Can Amobi Okugo fill in at center back so that Sheanon Williams can go back out to the right? Will Josue Martinez finally get an extended run of games? Will Lionard Pajoy finally be subbed out? We probably can’t count on all of these things, but Hackworth’s words certainly do ring in a sense of optimism that we might see some of them. Or at least see them considered.

What do you expect to see from John Hackworth as the new Union manager? What do you hope to see?



  1. I don’t know what to expect from him. As he said, he’s not Peter Nowak, but working together with him, I wonder how much of Nowak’s style has worn off.

    As for what I hope, honestly not much this season. A good open cup run, some consistent play time for young guys (Particularly Okugo, Martinez, and woulda been Mwanga). I want to see some tactical consistency and and some rhythm to the game. If he can do that much, I’d give him next year too.

  2. I hope to see wins. A coach that is more user friendly, and honest. A coach that takes responsibility. In short, not Nowak. Time will tell.

  3. the kid union says:

    I believe that he will be a great replacement. Judging by his past records coaching the team he has a good idea of what happens on the pitch. I expect the team may pick up momentum with Nowaks leave and more younger players on the pitch.

  4. There are lots of thing I would like to see and I agree with the author. Okugo in the middlee with Williams pushed wide. Pajoy out. Jac Mac. Torres as a starter.

    But for now , I will just be happy that Nowak is gone. Good luck Hack.

  5. Its not like he needs time to get to know the players, right?

  6. what is old is new again!

    just because Hackworth worked with Nowak doesn’t mean that he is a clone.

    i expect some changes – a few at the start but more as time goes on.

    mainly what i expect is an honest coach that doesn’t make enemies of his team and will give the younger players a chance.

    what i expect is a new attitude in the locker room and new fresh thoughts and ideas. no i do not expect the wheel reinvented – but i expect a coach with a fresh set of eyes and honestly and no lying.

  7. Will Le Toux COME BACK?????

    Please? hahaha

    • Le Toux didn’t sign a new contract – did he? would he sign back here in Philly?

      • Can you imagine that? Holy crap that would be something? I could see it though because Le Toux was for real. Does he really have the same number of goals as Lio Pajoy this year though?

  8. The good thing is Hack will have zero learning curve with the lads as he already knows them. Okugo inside? Sheanon back outside? Yes and Yes. Up top? Who knows? I excited to see how this evolves….GO UNION…!!!!

  9. I think what everyone hopes is that if things aren’t working either during the match, or from match to match, Hackworth will make changes that seem to make more sense. That he won’t be stubborn and keep starting the same guy even though everyone in the park knows he stinks. That he won’t decide to go with a crazy lineup just because. That he won’t play guys out of their natural position, except where there’s no other option because the previous manager traded away the guy who could play that position best. That he will make smarter and timelier substitutions. I think that’s all anyone can ask of him right now. Play the guys you have. There’s been enough change, we don’t need more new players who need more time to get to know the other players who themselves are still getting to know the other players.

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