PSP Poll: Should Sak get sacked?

Photo: Earl Gardner

We’re going to skip past the pleasantries and introductions here. You know the deal. Philadelphia Union just completed an epic collapse after a fantastic mid-season run. We read our Comments section, the league web site’s Comments section, Twitter, and lots of other places. Many of you blame Union chief executive Nick Sakiewicz.

So it’s time for a PSP readers poll. Let’s see whether it’s just a vocal minority who want Sakiewicz out or whether such sentiment is widespread.

Yes, Sakiewicz is part of the Union’s investment team, but he is not the only part. Anyone can be a chief executive, whether part of an ownership group or not. We want to know whether you think Sakiewicz should be that guy or not.

So cast your votes, and elaborate on your opinions in the Comments section below. This poll will remain open till midnight Wednesday. 

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  1. Ha, in a few days someone should spam the results to every Union F/O email account.

  2. Jimmy Trojan says:

    I believe the problem starts at the top with the ownership. They want to put a budget priced team on the pitch, all the while trying to make it a money grab for themselves. To succeed, the FC needs to invest in itself. Youth is the only way we will win a cup.

  3. Author: The Philly Soccer Page.

  4. The Realist Brian says:

    If he had a shred of dignity, he would resign after not signing a forward and bringing in another goalie. What a fucking boneheaded decision. He has to be accountable for that, doesn’t he?

  5. James Lockerbie says:

    Yes, the results should be forwarded to the Union Front office Owner’s email accounts and the post, Its all talk from the Union written by Peter Andrews should be included in those emails as evidence to support the Removal of Mr. Sakiewicz

    I have been loyal to the Union since my brother Rob introduced the team to me. Shortly after I started following the union I stumbled onto this site. I have been loyally following this page and have submitted two fan’s view post.
    I must say that Peter Andrews’ Post must be in the top 5 articles I have had the pleasure reading on this site and it sums up exactly how I feel about what has taken place in the past 5 yrs. It’s time for a new front man for the Union.

  6. We rate player performance so IMO this is long overdue. For the life of this franchise Sakiewicz needs to be replaced. I will always be thankful that due to his efforts the Union are a reality. However I don’t credit him with fact that Philadelphia has an MLS team. That was going to happen regardless of Sakiewicz. To me he has done nothing to truly showcase the team in what is a major media and sports market. This teams early legacy is tainted with feckless, weak, and IMO corrupt ownership, sponsorship, FO, management coaching and 2nd rate talent and skill unworthy of this market and fan base.

  7. Sak “sacked” = wishful thinking at best.

    As part owner, he’s not going anywhere. If he has any common sense, however, he’ll get a technical director in here and stay out of roster decisions.

    Changing the roster around is everything, I think. Add a striker (or two) and depth at the back line. Even Sak is smart enough to see from the turnout from the USOC that Philly is really eager to embrace this team, but it needs to win first. If the team could get a “name” up front, that would be even better for getting fans interested.

    This team needs to get a winning season together and it needs to do so next year. This page has become really depressing. We need to get going in the right direction again. Fans deserve it.

    • he doesn’t have to go anywhere. he can keep owning his share, however large or small that is – I assume small. if the rest of the owners want him out as CEO, he’s out. if they don’t, its an indication that the owners do not care about the club’s performance and are merely biding time until some deeper pocket comes along and offers fmv for an MLS team in a major market with a nice stadium. Sak’s success in Tampa and NY/NJ add to the data that the owners should consider.

  8. Saks track record prooves he”s NOT qualified to be hands on as CEO… ANY CEO of a co./corporation with this 5 year result would be removed by the share holders… He has CONTINUALLY mis-managed most decisions and situations he has made over the last 5 years… HE MUST GO… I’m a 40 year Philadelphia soccer fanatic and season ticket holder since day one, I have never commented on ANY blog on the web on any site EVER… until now, He MUST go before this carnival act he is portraying as being a ‘CEO’ destroys our team COMPLETELY!!!

  9. I was starting to give him the benefit of the doubt a little bit after we brought in two brilliant players (Nogueira and Maidana) last offseason, but for me the last straw was bringing in a goalie we didn’t need instead of the striker we needed and being a total dick about it. I’m done with this guy.

  10. “Should Nick Sakiewicz be removed as Union chief executive?”
    No, he should maintain all current responsibilities (2%, 2 Votes)
    Well, I see Nick and – I guess – his mom have stopped by to cast their votes. Good to know…

  11. old soccer coach says:

    Sakewicz bears responsibility for unfulfilled expectations on the field. He also deserves credit for developing the physical plant and all aspects of the off-the-field details of the business. He got the stadium built. He oversaw the creation of of the organization from scratch. He has overseen the growth of relationships with both Harrisburg and Reading as developmental affiliates and managed the complexities of cooperation between two independent business enterprises. He is creating the Union’s own developmental academy, both acquiring and upgrading physical plant and the on field and off field programs. Might he be well advised to devolve responsibility for first team player personnel and technical staff decisions? Very likely. Does he have a resume that would attract an owner trying to start a franchise from the ground up? Yes.

    • Well said. as if so many of us could have or did figure all that stuff out to start this team from a passionate idea.
      from nowhere to state of the art is impressive and most all I read is how he is a snake oil salesman. People should really begin taking in the whole picture.
      That said- I am all for leaving the football operations to the football minds. Period. That goes without saying.

      • To say that we’ve gone from nowhere to state-of-the-art is a massive overstatement. At best, we’re on the same level as Chicago and Columbus. Every team that entered the league after us has already surpassed our accomplishments. And the ownership group didn’t start this team from a passionate idea. The league came and said they wanted a team in Philly, and all the current ownership did was take advantage of that situation. It doesn’t matter who’s making the football decisions. They won’t get the money to make any good decisions, because all this ownership group is interested in is turning a profit.

      • Apparently Nick has a goalkeeper mentality. We have to remember the shady dealings that Nowak did when he had to power to buy and sell. We might still have Michael Orosco Fiscal if that POS hadn’t tried to make extra money off the transfer fee. Unfortunately Nick had to take over that area of the team.

    • Sak was responsible for all the youth developmental programs, affiliations with lower league teams and sponsorship, the stadium, and he oversaw the program from scratch.
      So how many of our youth players do you see out on the pitch compared to other teams? Name one sponsor in the league worse than ours. How’s the parking and public transportation near the stadium? The stadium was built in Chester as part of a government-sponosred plan to gentrify the neighborhood: how’d that work out? Last I heard, the team was trying to force the locally-owned parking lots to shut down or pay a fee.
      As I recall, MLS wanted this team in Philly. All Sak and Jay had to do was show up. They’ve done nothing but line their own pockets.

      • The group tried to set the team up in Trenton and were blocked by the Red Bulls. Then they had a deal with Rowan Univ that was blocked by NJ over state contribution money. When Rendell saw this he jumped at the chance to get the team in PA. MLS didn’t just hand this region a team. Nick was trying for a number of years to get a team in this area.

      • Actually, it started with Rowan. I was at that first press conference in 2006. I never heard of Trenton being a legitimate option.

        There was also consideration of moving Kansas City to this area prior to new ownership taking over and transforming that club into what it is today.

      • All I’m saying is the guy isn’t a snake oil salesman. At least not IMO. Done a lot in a short amount of time expect field a good team- which is the ultimate goal- I hope.

    • He is _NOT_ creating the Union’s own developmental academy. He’s latching on to someone else’s brainchild and slapping the Union name all over it while taking credit.

  12. Do I want Sak out yes, but I can’t in good conscience blame him for The Union’s collapse

    The two recent ‘losses’ and the Open Cup Final loss were the result of Curtin’s in-game decisions, pre-game decisions, in-game coaching (or lack thereof) and even date back to his failure to do certain things at the beginning of his tenure. Two glaring and related examples come to mind 1) he beat his players into the ground by not adequately rotating his squad once the US Open Cup started 2) he failed to utilize his available youth players. Here’s an interesting fact, Perdo Ribeiro was an unused sub in 9 of his first 10 games with The Union . . . all under Curtin. He didn’t start using him as his late minute sub until 6 games ago . . . 6. So for me it’s unrealistic to expect him to be this end of season savior (especially playing out of position) for the team already on a downward spiral. Who would have provided more energy off the bench Fred or Pffefer/ Fernades? I like Fred personally, but his age has limited his ability do impact a game like he used to. These moves are on Curtin. Is this really that much different than Hackworth’s failure to integrate Torres and Kleberson into last year’s squad? Curtin took over at the halfway point and should have immediately started to rotate the roster, especially some of the more senior players that he continued to throw out during the US Open Cup and then again during MLS play. Those games (several of which went 120 minutes) eventually caught up to our older players and the result was they inevitably ran out of steam down the stretch. So for me the collapse is on Curtin.

  13. I just don’t understand why he has had such a heavy hand in personnel… Seems like a guy with good business sense. After all, we do have a team. He should continue there, but no more personnel influence from him please.

    • That’s all I am saying as well. Only you did a better job of it.

    • good business sense? where’s the infrastructure development around the stadium? the better parking? the training facility? the government stumped up the money for the stadium.

  14. Yes.
    A lot of what Sak does is representative of the ownership group as a whole. So when he is talking about things such as dealing with the city of Chester he is doing so as a representative of the ownership group as a whole.
    (This does not absolve him from those decision as he is a member of the ownership group, and there needs to be some discussion about the actions of Jay Sugarman and the front office as a whole.)
    It seems in return for being spokesman for the entire group(and taking the heat for that group.) He gets to be the “Soccer Guy” in the membership group and oversee the entire operation of the team. With this power he has run portions of this team like he was running Fantasy Soccer Manager. Making arbitrary almost fucking whimsical decisions based on whatever metric he deems nessicary.
    Wether it is forcing players like Rais Mbohli, Frddy Adu or Oka Nikolov on his managers.
    Stockpiling players at odd positions. (In the confusion that people had over the Union had over the team having 3 starting goalkeepers it is easily forgotten that the team had three starting holding midfielders)
    Never properly addressing certain holes in the lineup (Like Left Back an institutional problem that has existed since Nowak)
    Keeping the coaching situation up in the air.
    And generally being reactive to team composition (problems like a thin striker corps and weak midfield only seem to get addressed after fans make a stink about it)
    He has been the only constant in soccer operations from the teams inception to its current state of mediocrity.

    And aside from his role as defacto GM he has positioned himself as the spokesman for the entire team. And no matter what he is speaking about whether it be corporate matters(like dealing with Chester, /unpaved parking lots) or team matters (Rais signing/coach search) he can be counted on to be dismissive, arrogant and generally off putting. He will always be there to tout any success no matter how small and preach accountability and he will always be absent when accountability when it is needed.
    His entire career has been one constant arc of failing upwards and he has shown the complete lack of ability in getting the Union progressing in ant positive direction.
    In short he has to go.

    • PhilaDOOPia says:

      There aren’t enough words to describe how much I agree with this comment, Sieve!. And you’re right in the whole GK fiasco it did totally distract from issues like the multiple holding mid’s and no set left back (though I’m honestly okay having Gaddis in that role). Literally every point you made is, well, on point. I truly hope he see’s these results and those of the brotherly game’s similar poll and takes an honest look at himself as he pertains to the club’s operations.

  15. Mike Whattheheck says:

    The matches are decided on the pitch, not in the front office. The players need to look in the mirror. Nothing like a few disappointing results to bring out all of the negativity…Real supporters stick with their teams win, lose or draw. Move on!

    • James Lockerbie says:

      HOld up buddy,

      We have been loyal for 5 yrs+. Are eagles fans not fans when they called for Reid’s head, are phillie fans not fans when they call for rueben or Montegomery’s head!

      We have a customers always right, right to be pissed upset at the current state of affairs. Yes the Coach must coach the players must play, and Well the C.E.O must lead and take responsibility for his decisions.
      The coach turned to the bench and look at what he had to call up to take the field. When Seattle called on the bench look at the difference of talent. By now we should have a deeper bench, but we keep resetting the team after each season.

      That’s why the villagers are gathering their pitch forks and torches!

    • When those players look in the mirror, there are too many defensive mids & keepers looking out at them, & not enough forwards, & no left backs at all. That is on the front office.

      • In the most important game of the season, when your third and final sub is Antoine Hoppenot, that is not a lost season because of player performance. We have consistently, almost amazingly been the thinnest team in MLS. It is a testament to the heart of players on the club that we win games at all given the fact there are only two teams with more inept management in the league.

  16. Trade him for another Keeper………

  17. James Lockerbie says:

    If you want a nicer point of view. Check the fan’s view Father
    Sakiewicz It does not call for the removal of the C.E.O but asks for the reorganization of the responsibilities of the front office.

  18. James Lockerbie says:

    That’s where I was before the Columbus game

  19. The Belligerent Quaker says:

    I didn’t follow MLS very closely until Philly got a team but now I’m hooked. In the early years I felt like why bother, the league is going to fold at some point anyway. Well, clearly its here to stay and I’m proud to support the U and domestic soccer. But I think the overly cautious business model resonates with the management of the team. Maybe its a carry over from the past. In any case, they need to spend on some quality up top or risk becoming what they fear most– inconsequential.

  20. We really need a change with the roster but I think the most important factor is the game plan and style of play that needs to change. I think we actually need a more possession style of play where we keep the ball and allow opportunities to arise to push forward and to establish creative plays to create scoring opportunities. Again, I think that will also come with a roster change, (forwards, etc. ). I think the philosophy of being a counter attack team hurt us in the long run because there was always the high percentage in a game for the opposing team to change the momentum of the game in their favor because they kept the ball more than we did. In my opinion it is an immature style to rely on to succeed in the long run. Too many times this season we were a team that forced the ball more then our opponent. This style of play needs to change.

  21. Dan,
    I didn’t mean hacks style of keeping the ball until finding the opportunity to play the ball wide and having 100 crosses a game into the box. I meant pursuing the European style of possession by keeping the ball but having a purpose to create shots in front of goal.

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