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Hackworth named Union manager

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

The timing may seem a bit off given the team’s recent results on the field, but we no longer need to refer to John Hackworth as the interim manager of the Philadelphia Union.

On Thursday evening, the club announced that Hackworth had been named as “the club’s permanent Team Manager with immediate effect.”

Hackworth was named interim manager of the Union following the firing of Peter Nowak on June 13.

Before thanking the Union ownership, Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, “and our magnificent fans for their continued support,” Hackworth said in the announcement, “I’m very excited to have been given this opportunity. I’ve worked for this organization since 2009 and it’s been a real privilege to see it grow into the wonderful club it is today.

“We have a very talented and committed group of players in our locker room and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to continue working with them long term as they and the organization continue to develop.”

Sakiewicz said in the statement, “John deserves to become our permanent Team Manager. His skilled leadership has reinvigorated our players in recent months and there are some very promising signs that we are moving towards a style of soccer that is in-keeping with our respected Union brand.

“It has been a very tough year on the pitch and clearly,” Sakiewicz continued, “we have a long way to go. But most importantly, the principal reason for making this move right now is because John has a plan to move our team forward and toward the upper reaches of Major League Soccer. That stability is important to our whole organization as we look to finish this season strongly and build again for the next.”

Sakiewicz hinted that Hackworth would be named as permanent team manager at the recent Supporters Summit when he said, “I don’t really want to address the interim thing. But I’ll tell you this: I have a coach. He’s terrific. He’s been with us since day one. I’m not interviewing and I’m not accepting resumes. I’ll leave it at that.”

Well have more on this late-breaking story as it comes available as well as analysis of what this move menas.



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

    Despite recent results I am happy with this. He clearly values consistency more than Nowak ever did, which helps. The players love him, and I am a fan of his youth revolution mindset.
    His tactics are iffy, but what do you expect? He’s an American coach after all.
    Hopefully his abilities off the field and in personnel decision making (trades, draft, signings etc) offset his flaws.

  2. Best of luck to him. This might work out in everybody’s best interest. Now the players know that there will be the same hand on the tiller next year, and the fans can watch to see how a consistent set of personnel decisions will translate on the field. After the season, and we still hope the playoffs, we can watch to see what he does to build a team around the core. More importantly, we will be able to see what he considers the core. This should be fun.

  3. JediLos117 says:

    This is a good move. Has done well with available tools.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Hackworth has started building HIS team. Let’s give him an offseason to really mold it. If we change coaches again, we’d be undergoing huge player changes for the third straight year.

  5. Eh. I dunno.

  6. Just means it’s now time to put up or shutup! Start by weeding out the smurf infestation(McI­nerney,Cruz, Hoppenot,Torres­…etc) and bring in a DP or 2 with size and finishing ability.Add quality MLS talent throughout the roster. The Union resemble more of a reserve squad than an MLS team. This should be a strong veteran team where younger players are brought up only when they are ready and deserve a chance. You want to compete with NY,DC, Montreal, etc? The you need to recoginize that this is a top sports market not some dead media outpost. Put solid team on the field that represents one of the top sports markets in the country. We won’t settle for less!

    • frankswild says:

      It seems pretty clear to me that they are not going to get rid of McI­nerney, Cruz, Hoppenot, or Torres­ nor should they in my opinion. I also don’t think that it is going to take some kind of overhaul of the whole team to put together something that can compete. I think it will mostly take figuring out exactly where everyone should be playing, getting the whole team on the same page, and a couple new guys that will allow everyone to play in their proper roles.
      I don’t think it is often recognized the extent to which this team was dismantled and disrupted from their light off season through the trading away of a lot of our key players. I don’t think blowing up the team again will do us any favors.

      • I said weed them out. They are too small,exposed and ineffective in vital areas. No one said anything about blowing up the team. McInerey is not the go to guy because he needs to run off of bigger stronger players. Bring in an MLS quality striker(s) to tandem up front and sub McInerney in. He was only effective in the begining because he wasn’t being marked as well. Cruz and Hoppenot are lead foot clones with no touch. Either one could be weeded out. In order for Torres to be the player he was he’ll need to have players that compliment his passing like Le Toux and Mawanga did. These things have been painfully obvious since before the NYRB game. The Union can run and pinball around for 90mins and accomplish nothing. The book on the Union is to defend and wait for set pieces and a countering stretch pass. Bring in DP or 2. They don’t need to overhaul but not all of the players on this current roster need to stay.

      • I guess I misunderstood what you were saying because I mostly agree with your second post here.
        I feel like you might be a little hard on Hoppenot and Cruz. I feel like Cruz has been alright but is still finding his place in the team and really like how hard he is working. I like Hoppenot and how he plays and I think if he had a different kind of forward to play with he would do really well. I also find it interesting that so far he has drawn 2 red cards from the opposing team in the relatively few games he has played. I don’t know if he is just a really good shit talker, but I think I might not have a problem with it.

  7. Congrats John! Glastonbury see we aren’t going the Toronto route and changing coaches every 6 months. Love that he has a plan in place and style of play in mind. 4-3-3 with young US players as a core and a select few internationals to support. Going to take time but at least now we are building towards 2013 with leadership in place.

  8. This is very good move. I understand the doubters based on recent results, but give the guy an offseason or two to get his squad together.

    • Philly Cheese says:

      Philly fans too impatient. I only give him one off season. Hack must produce better results next year. Two or three drafted or signed 6’2″ 200 with good movement to make set pieces both offense and defense effective would balance team. Let’s find out if Martinez and Hoffman have long term potential to be finishers, before we bring in high priced “retiring” DP that will only last one or two years. Losing GA status should not be determination of how many minutes Hoffman gets between now and end of season.

      • 3 of the top 6 in Assists and 4 of the top 6 in goals are high priced DPs. The others are just under that number (Wondo,Cooper). You can hope to develop these kids, but the realistic horizon has to be much further out. Not 3 years, but 5. And there’s no guarantee that they will develop into stars. I think Okugo and Williams could, but there hasn’t been any indication that Hoffman will.

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