Fans' View / Featured

Fans’ View: The Hackworth magic, fact or fiction?

Photo: Earl Gardner

As I sat through the abysmal second half of the Chicago Fire game, I found myself thinking, “Weren’t the Union supposedly on a summer hot streak not long ago?”

Watching that match on Sunday, it seemed like ages ago that Carlos Valdes netted a heroic late game winner against Montreal or that Jack Mac headed home an improbable air ball to beat New England. In reality, these games weren’t all that long ago at all.

The team that showed up against Chicago looked nothing like the Hackworth-coached teams that had PPL Park in a frenzy in July. This led me to ask the question, “Was the Hackworth magic a short-lived energy boost rather than a long-term solution?”

After having some time to contemplate the question, I’m still unable to come up with a rational answer either way. On the one hand, I find myself thinking there is no way this performance would have happened just a few short weeks ago. But on the other hand I find myself pointing out the lack of a few key starters for Sunday’s match.

So again I am left with the quandary of which problem it truly was that doomed the Union. When comparing the Fire result to Montreal, it seems to me this is a lingering problem rather than a one-time mistake. Only time will tell but unfortunately time is running out.

The part that hit hardest about the Fire loss was the fact that the crowd seemed to be nonexistent for the majority of the second half. It wasn’t a normal loss where people do not want to sing or chant through the second half of a losing effort, but it seemed as though the wind was just taken out of a stadium that had been absolutely rocking throughout the month of July.

This is a dangerous sign for Hackworth, because we all know how ugly it can get in Philly when the masses start grumbling for a managerial change. While most aren’t ready to hop off the Hackworth band wagon just yet, his seat seems to be getting warmer.

I know he is just the interim manager, but would any of us have doubted his appointment as full-time manager after the win over Los Angeles? That question seems laughable at this point, and so I ask you Philly faithful, “Is the Hackworth magic fact or fiction?”


  1. I think this is a regression to the mean. The hot streak was a reaction to the Nowak firing and Hackworth’s change of lineup and formation. The reality is this is a very young team without much veteran presence at all. Hackworth is playing the hand he’s been dealt, and so far done a decent job. We view the U through some serious rose colored glasses around here, becasue we don’t want to acknowledge there isn’t a lot of true talent on this team. The Pajoy-Cruz deal maybe the first one in a while where the incoming player is possibly more talented than the outgoing one. I think your point about Philly’s habit of clamoring for regime change is true, but it should be pointed at Nick S. He should be worried about squandering all the goodwill.

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

    I agree it’s disappointing we aren’t going to go on that 5 game winning streak, but everything else we have seen from Hackworth is a good sign. Willingness to play young players, playing tactics that fits our strengths, consistency and a soft touch.
    This basically feels like the long term youth revolution Nowak promised us then abandoned in his second year.
    I don’t necessarily agree with Scotty about us not having a lot of true talent. I think we do, it jut hasn’t been unlocked yet. How many of our players are less than 24? Almost all.
    I would be willing to go with Hackworth long term as even though the results are not there now he is doing everything to indicate they will be there in the future. Trading an old piece for a young piece is an even bigger sign Hackworth has the right idea.

    • This guy wears rosey colored glasses. How long do you wanna wait for results?

      • And if teams did things your way, players like Hamid and Johnson would still be languishing in the reserves for some reason.
        This is a young team, young teams need time. If you want us to shed this philosophy, then say that. This team came into existence based on that philosophy and for some reason Nowak tried to throw a lot of it away.

      • I absolutely want to win NOW! I want the Supporter’s Shield NOW! MLS Cup NOW! I want a winning philosophy not a lets let the little kids play and maybe hopefully they win in a couple or few years philosophy. Why would anyone want to settle for waiting on results? How long are we gonna use their youth as an excuse?

      • At least the rest of this season. Probably the first half of next season. Because that’s how long it will be a reality.

        A team this young is built for the long-term, but unfortunately not also for now. ScottyMac makes some good points, but so does James. I’ll add the caveat that there MAY be a lot of talent (or there may not) on this team, but we won’t know until it all blossoms into enough players who are ready for prime time or results in guys who very clearly are not. The question is when that will happen.

        The team lacks a core of players in their prime. Valdes and Carroll are the only regulars in their primes. You can’t win a title that way. But they’ll have time, as long as they’re entertaining to watch and have good relationships with the fans.

      • Talent is usually seen by early twenties. So? We need quality players.

      • The Black Hand says:

        HEAR, HEAR

    • I agree with you, the adrenaline has run out and now the guys need to learn how to play the game and manage a little better, they are a young group, in fact we could have fielded a U-23 team in the olympics with out any overage players. Hack got handed a crap situation, and I’m willing to see were it goes. Let the kids play and at the very least we know what we have next year, with the team we have the question isn’t if we have enough talent to win this year, but if we can see enough promise to stay the course and hopefully win in a few. We now have more players under the age of 20 than we have over the age of 30. WE ARE YOUNG. and we need to realize that fact and come to grips with it. If guys play out the season and still aren’t showing any promise then complain, but till then let the boys learn and grow.

  3. One other thing to point out about the Fire debacle. The two players who scored the late goals against Montreal and New England weren’t available last Sunday.

  4. DarthSarkozy says:

    This is ridiculous. How is there any question about the latent talent on this team? Talent doesn’t guarantee success, but the ability is clearly there.

    I think people are seriously underestimating just how much damage Nowak did to this team. After he was sacked, I never would have imagined that we’d be still in playoff contention this late in the season (however unlikely). That’s a victory itself.

    Consider the people we lost inch the latter portion under the previous regime: Harvey, Mapp, Le Toux, Califf, Mondragon – all not only contributors, but that veteran core of leaders that steadies the game and helps bring along the younger kids. Whom do we have left in that role? That’s a major gap that can’t be filled easily with trades or buys — it takes time, patience, and trust. That it hasn’t developed instantly with Hack’s elevation it’s as unsurprising as it is unfair to expect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: