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Hackworth fired, Curtin named as interim head coach

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

The Philadelphia Union announced today that John Hackworth has been fired as head coach.

Replacing him as interim head coach is assistant head coach Jim Curtin.

Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz said in a statement, “We are a very ambitious club and although we are just in our fifth season we expect to win and be in the top tier of MLS. Today we will begin a serious global search for a Team Manager who will help guide us to our goal of competing to win the MLS Cup.”

“Philadelphia is a major market and we expect that there will be significant interest from a wide variety of qualified candidates to become Philadelphia Union’s Team Manager,” Sakiewicz continued. “Our great fans, partners and community deserve a winning team and we will doing everything in our power to win.”

Jim Curtin, a native of Oreland, Pa., played over 200 games with Chicago Fire beginning in 2001 after graduating from Villanova University. He finished his playing career with Chivas USA. After first working with the Union Academy for three years, Curtin was hired as an assistant coach for the first team in November of 2012.

Curtin’s first game as interim head coach will be on Tuesday, June 17 when the Union host Harrisburg City Islanders in fourth round US Open Cup play.

After a stunning offseason of signings, including the additions of Argentine midfielder Cristhian Maidana, French midfielder Vincent Nogueira, and US international Maurice Edu, the Union started the season brightly with a commanding performance in the season opening draw in Portland, followed by a home opening win over New England.

However, the results quickly turned against the Union, who were winless for 10 games before defeating Sporting Kansas City on May 14. In 2014, the Union compiled a 3-7-6 record under Hackworth.

Hackworth began with the club on November 9, 2009 as an assistant coach to Peter Nowak and club’s Youth Development Coordinator. He became interim head coach when Nowak was fired in on June 13, 2012. The interim tag was removed on August 30, 2012. Under Hackworth, the Union compiled a 23-30-20 record, including a franchise best 12 wins in 2013.

“We appreciate the work, time and efforts John Hackworth put into building the club and his influence on our growing youth academy,” Sakiewicz said. “He is a first class person and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”



  1. A huge clap of the hands for Coach Hackworth. He inherited as sour a mess as I could imagine for such a young team, and while the standings don’t reflect it, he worked a near-miracle in transitioning the franchise from the possibility of wilting on the vine to one where we at least entered this season with relatively high hopes, just a season+ after taking over for a guy whose tenure ended in scandal and litigation. Hopefully his legacy will reflect how steep the road was on day 1.

  2. There is no way I’m going to dance on a good man’s grave. John Hackworth served the Union and the Community well and honorably. It didn’t work out for us. I wish him success in his future endeavors.

    That said, I think the immediate effects of this move are these:

    1. The return to a 4-4-2, and more importantly;

    2. the return of Le Toux as a fixture in the starting 11.

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