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Hackworth: “Play without fear,” more news

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth spoke at Wednesday’s press conference about life as a the Union’s new head coach. “The days have been long, but I enjoy the work. The group of guys that we are working with and the whole staff has been fantastic…but there is a lot of work to be done and it’s the type of work anyone in my shoes would like to do. We trying to make sure that everything we do improves us on a day-to-day basis and our record shows we have a lot of work to do.”

Hackworth was asked at the press conference what about last Saturday’s game demonstrated how he is different from Peter Nowak. Hackworth responded, “Peter and I are very similar when it comes to soccer, so I don’t think that the soccer was different. The only thing that I would say and I say this with no disrespect and all the humility that I have, is that I think the players felt like they, at least with the lineup that I put out and with what I asked of them, is to play with a lot of freedom and no fear. I don’t know if that’s a tangible or not but I was certainly proud of way our players took on that challenge.”

He explained further, “We always wanted to play attacking soccer, we want to be a team that pressed high up the field, we wanted 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 and this club is how tough everybody is.”

When asked about possible lineup changes for Saturday’s game against Kansas City, Hackworth told reporters, “What the players and I want is some continuity. The plan is not to make big, wholesale changes. We had a good performance and if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. There will be some changes but they won’t be big.”

Elaborating on what to expect, he continued, “It’s not like you are going to see a whole new team or lineup out there on Saturday.”

Where will the goals come from? Hackworth said, “I don’t think we’re going to have any one individual with a bunch of goals. But I think you’ll see a few guys with five, six, seven goals.”

The bottom line is simple: “This is a game, this is a business about making sure we get a win when we need a win or getting a draw when we need a draw…We have to start making positive steps forward.”

On Wednesday, we linked to an article in which Jack McInerney said that life under Peter Nowak had become “frustrating” due to the coach’s lack of communication with the players. McInerney later elaborated about his lack of playing time, “It was really frustrating because Peter really didn’t talk to the players all that much. He wouldn’t let us know why this is happening or why that’s not happening. It was tough, not dressing for six games and not knowing if you’re playing bad, or if he’s teaching you a lesson or what he was doing. You just really questioned going to practice, questioning yourself every day whether you’re good or not. You didn’t know what was going on in Peter’s head.” He concluded, “It made me pissed off, really.”

McInerney said of life under Hackworth, “It’s a lot more comfortable now. I feel like you know where you stand with him. Our job is to go out there and be the best and I feel that coach Hackworth puts us in a great position to be successful. We have a good locker room and I think we have what it takes to prove we are a good team.”

Chandler Hoffman talks about adjusting to life in the pros, “You have to come in every day ready to work as hard as you can to fight and scrap for your spot on the club.”

Chris Albright and Chris Konopka, who both have South Jersey ties, participated in the Surfrider Foundation’s International Surfing Day festival at Ocean City on Wednesday. Both are upbeat about the Union’s prospects despite their poor start to the season.

Kyle McCarthy has a thoughtful look at the obstacles that stand in the way of the Union finally finding some consistent success ans concludes three critical personnel needs are required: a central midfielder; “a reliable and predatory number nine to finally replace Sébastien Le Toux’s goal production;” a central defender capable of distributing out of the back and reducing the club’s vulnerability to set pieces.

In ESPN LA’s power rankings, the Union are at No. 18 and Gabriel Gomez is tipped as a should-be all-star.

The duo that do the rankings at New England Soccer Today are blunt in their assessment of the Union, who they place at No. 18. Says one, “[T]he Union have only collected three assists, which only emphasizes the point that the phrase ‘Philly attack’ is turning into a league-wide punchline.” Says the other, “That Philadelphia isn’t last shows just how bad someone else is.”

The Union plans to honor local members of the military and veterans when they host Toronto FC on July 8. To that end, they are offering a special ticket package to local companies and organizations of 15 sideline tickets for $600. The ticket packages will be donated to the Veterans Tickets Foundation and the USO with matching tickets from the club.

Costa Rican outlet Al Dia reports that the clasico between Liga and Saprissa will be played at PPL Park on July 15. Telenoticias 7 reports the same.


An article at Bloomberg.com notes that Bonds sold by Delaware County to finance the building of PPL Park “yielded about the same as top-grade bonds” when they were first issued. Now, they trade at a rate just 0.4 percent above the fourth-highest rating.

Nick Sakiewicz is reported to have said in the article that the Union will pay the money owed to Chester in lieu of taxes for 2012 “if the city will send a bill for the money” and that the club are still negotiating with the city about the 2010 payment. The article states that Chester Mayor John Linder said “he’ll send a bill for the 2012 payment, if that’s what it will take to get the funds. No bill was needed before the team sent its 2011 payment, he said by telephone.”


Reading United suffered their second scoreless loss in a row after being blanked by Baltimore Bohemians on Wednesday night, losing 1–0 on the road. Former University of Pennsylvania star Christian Barreiro assisted the goal. United next faces Long Island Rough Riders on Sunday afternoon at 4pm at home.

Ocean City Nor’easters topped Brooklyn Knights 3–1 on the road with goals from Markus Lacroix, Jason Plumhoff, and Terry Gibbs. Ocean City goalkeeper John McCarthy was given a red card in injury time, the resulting penalty kick giving Brooklyn their sole goal.


There was no significant movement in the Eastern Conference standings following Wednesday night’s games. Kansas City remained in second place after drawing 1–1 on the road at Seattle. New York remained two points behind in third place after drawing 1–1 at Vancouver. Fifth place Houston gained a point on Columbus after their comeback 3–3 draw at home against Toronto. It was Toronto’s first draw of the season. Montreal remain in eight place after losing 2–1 at Chivas USA.

Montreal Impact midfielder Miguel Montaño, a native of Colombia, has filed a discrimination complaint against the Montreal public transportation agency alleging that two ticket agents refused to sell him subway tickets because he did not ask for them in French. Teammate and French defender Hassoun Camara, who was with Montaño, has also filed a complaint.

Vancouver’s The Province looks at the fallout from Thierry Henry’s no-show for last night’s draw between the Whitecaps and New York. It’s the second time in two years that he has not made the trip.

Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, who defected from Cuba while playing in the 2007 Gold Cup, has gained US citizenship. With it comes the possibility that FIFA could allow him to play for the USMNT.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has reportedly asked club officials to cancel the club’s tour in North America because the club will have to travel to China the following week to play in the Supercoppa Italiana match with Napoli. Juventus is scheduled to play against DC United, Paris Saint-Germaine and Real Madrid as part of the World Football Challenge in July and August.

The Guardian has an extensive piece on just how Orlando might just pip New York to land the 20th MLS franchise. Orlando City owner Phil Rawlins says, “The league is very committed to the 20th franchise being in New York. I can’t say we’ll get in ahead of New York. But I can say if things in New York don’t happen in the time that they would like we’re ready to take their place. We’re ready now. We’ve run ourselves as a mini-MLS club. We’ve got the staff and setup and we’re ready to go.” All that stands in the way is a comprehensive stadium plan and financing. “We’re top of the list for a new franchise and that will cement that we’ll get it,” Rawlins says. “I think we’re looking 2015, 2016 as a timeframe.”

Isportconnect.com talks to Kathy Carter, president of the league’s commercial subsidiary, Soccer United Marketing.

Women’s Soccer

Only days after having Katie Schoepfer’s hat trick erased when they had to forfeit their 3–2 win from May 26 over WNY Flash for fielding an ineligible player, the Breakers Kyah Simon scored a hat trick in front of 2,147 spectators in Boston’s come-from-behind 4–2 win over the New England Mutiny.


Here’s an interesting look at how the ongoing financial crisis in Europe might start to reduce the number of US players in Europe. Says the sporting director at Danish club Aalborg BK, “The American player is not very expensive, but he is more expensive than a Danish player.”

Ten years ago today, Torsten Frings’s hand did as much as the rest of the German team to deny the US of a semifinal appearance in the 2002 World Cup. You can be sure that the Shin Guardian remembers.


It’s Czech Republic vs. Portugal in the first quarterfinal match of the Euros (2:45pm; ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, ESPN Radio). Goal.com has a look at players who are are carrying yellow cards and in danger of being suspended for the semifinals.

Soccer America writes that, while not unknown in Western European football, racist displays are particularly a problem in Eastern Europe. “Racism in sport is rooted in society, and any external organization—be it an international sports body or governmental agency—is going to find changing a nation’s perceptions to be a very hard slog.”

Sky News reports that if the International Football Association Board approves the use of goal-line technology when it meets in Geneva on July 5, the Club World Cup in December may be the first competition to see it in use. They also report that the MLS season begins in November.

An Italian restaurant in Poland has cooked a world record sized lasagna weighing more than 4.8 tons in honor of Italy advancing to the Euro quarterfinals. The chef said, “I don’t know about the players or if they will try the lasagne because they are on a diet, but they can try just a little bit.”

Clarence Seedorf has confirmed he is leaving AC Milan. So far as his destination, Seedorf said, “I have received a lot of offers even if I am 36 and I have to seriously evaluate many things. “Money has never been an issue and I will speak to my family before making a decision.”

More on the wonderfully corrupt world of Chinese soccer from the New Yorker.


  1. RE: McCarthy’s article … Ballack, Perlaza, Bocanegra.
    Or not. 😉

    • RE: McCarthy’s article: a work of genius. We need a goal scorer to replace Le Toux, a center back to replace Califf, and a true number 10 in the middle of the field. I am envious of such enlightened football wisdome.

      • You know what, sometimes you have to state the obvious because we have know all of this for a while and we still have none of these things.

      • That is an excellent point.

      • Then McCarthy should’ve sent that to Nowak. He seemed like the only one not “in the know”. Methinks Hackworth has a bit more common sense in these matters. Maybe Perlaza will shine and we’ll all be trying to remember who that skinny Frenchman was who used to play for us. hehe

  2. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    three critical personnel needs are required: a central midfielder; M/B>

    WTF, is this guy serious!?

  3. Seedorf appeared to be effective in the few matches that I saw this past season. He is remarkable.

    • Was watching a replay of an AC Milan Champion’s League game last night and I agree, Seedorf was very effective.

  4. As much as I hate the sounders, I’d like to see the US get their own Alonso.

  5. It’s early yet, but Hack is certainly making all the right noises, and many of the players (and the fans) have clearly rallied around him. What a weight off Sheanon’s shoulders it must be to hear that he’s going to be played in his natural position from now on, and for Young Jack to know that he’s going to actually be spoken to. Have to say I’m cautiously optimistic…though I guess anything is better than the toxic air I had been breathing around this team for the past 3 months.

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