Fans' View

Fans’ View: A defense of Nick Sakiewicz

Union fan and Sons of Ben member Joe Cosella got in touch asking if he could write a defense of Nick Sakiewicz. Joe told us, “For the record, I would like to state that I do NOT work for the Union front office, nor do I know Mr. Sakiewicz on a personal or professional level.  I’m a 5-year season ticket holder in section 118, and the extent of my soccer knowledge comes from attending Union games, watching Premier League matches at Fado on weekend mornings, and cursing out EA Sports for somehow making each yearly FIFA game worse than its predecessor.” Below are Joe’s thoughts.

We’re at the end of the fifth season of Major League Soccer in Philadelphia. It was a season that started with a lot of promise, and it seems to be ending with a lot of heartbreak and anger. Naturally, people want to look back and assign blame, and the consensus seems to be pointing to the man at the top of the Philadelphia Union.

However, I feel that it would be improper to call myself a fan of a team whose name invokes the founding of our great nation and the principles set forth, namely the idea that every person should be entitled to a fair defense against accusations levied against him. Therefore, it is with a sense of duty (or a seemingly complete disregard for my own mental health) that I present the following: a defense of Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz.

Before the start of the season

The Union ended last season 3 points out of a playoff spot and with a big problem to fix in the offseason. They had a good young goalkeeper, a strong back line, and an offense led by Comeback Player of the Year runner-up Conor Casey, one of the best young American strikers in Jack McInerney, and a suddenly stellar winger in Sebastien Le Toux.

The problem was that there was no midfield that could link both ends of the field together. Michael Farfan looked uncomfortable in the center of the field. Danny Cruz played like a human wrecking ball (in stark contrast to his play this year; he looks very much improved and that deserves to be noted here). Brian Carroll couldn’t figure out why Keon Daniel was playing right on top of him. I remember something about a guy from Brazil, but I think someone kept stealing his cleats because he was never on the field.

As many people have pointed out, it is widely understood that Mr. Sakiewicz has had at least some hand in the player acquisitions that the team makes, despite occasional remarks to the contrary. He and Coach John Hackworth had one job this past offseason: fix the midfield. We were at least good or competent everywhere else on the field. Just fix whatever is supposed to be going on in the center of the pitch.

Up to this point in the history of the Union, the biggest move the team made to bring in a playmaker was signing Freddy Adu, not exactly a distinguished history of acquiring soccer talent. So it was rather exciting to see them go out and get three outstanding midfielders for the 2014 season.

Bringing in Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, and Cristian Maidana was nothing short of extraordinary. It was also no easy task, given the controversy over the selectively applied MLS allocation order. Even then, the Union front office pulled a rabbit out of a hat by exchanging Parke, who has unfortunately had an injury-shortened season, for Ethan White and the top spot in the allocation order. They topped it off by acquiring former Rookie of the Year Austin Berry to shore up the defense, in addition to picking up Andre Blake, Pedro Ribeiro and Richie Marquez in the SuperDraft.

The Union immediately became a contender in the Eastern conference and added a handful of young players that could benefit them for years to come, and they did so for a lot less money than the other big spender in the conference, Toronto FC.

Fast forward to the middle of the season

Hackworth’s team managed only three wins through 16 games. The defense was a mess. Berry and White were nowhere to be seen. The Aaron Wheeler center back project failed miserably. McInerney had thrown his arms up in the air enough times to get himself traded to Montreal for Andrew Wenger. The midfield showed promise, but there were occasional breakdowns at crucial moments in games that wound up costing the team valuable points.

Fans demanded action, and Sakiewicz listened.

Hackworth was given his marching orders, and Jim Curtin was handed the keys for the rest of the season. The team experienced an immediate turnaround, winning 6 of their next 11 games and coming within a post and a goal line save of beating Seattle in regulation time in the US Open Cup final. Clearly, the Union had enough talent to compete with the best teams in the league.

Why did their second half surge suddenly evaporate?

Some say it was because the Union never brought in a world-class striker to either back up or replace the talented but aging Conor Casey. If you believe that’s the case, please point out a forward picked up by any MLS team during the midseason window that has made any real impact. There is a page on that shows all transactions. The only names that stand out that were acquired after July 1 are Alan Gordon, Saer Sene, and maybe Robert Earnshaw.

We weren’t going to get Gordon. He’s along for a late career championship ride with L.A. Sene hasn’t done much for a New York team that is already loaded with talent up front. Earnshaw has scored in a few substitute appearances for Chicago, but it’s nothing to really rave about.

Could they have gotten help from overseas?

It’s possible, but unlikely. I highly doubt a big name forward would want to come to a team whose playoff chances were dwindling and whose coach wasn’t guaranteed to be here in 6 months. There’s no magical store where you can pick up exactly the type of player you need off of a shelf. If there was, the Flyers would have sent an intern there to pick up a Brodeur or a Hasek during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Getting Brian Brown on loan might not have been a blockbuster deal, but it might have been one of the few available to us, and it was a move that cost us next to nothing.

Also, if you think bringing in a world class player or two will instantly fix your problems, ask Toronto how their season has gone. Then swing by Montreal and see if Marco Di Vaio is leading them to success. World class players can’t do much if the team around them can’t support their level of play.

What about help within our own organization?

This is the part where I believe Jim Curtin failed to capitalize on the resources available to him. He could have recalled Wheeler and Hoppenot. Both have had MLS experience, and both of them showed that they could contribute, even if they weren’t blowing the doors off of teams. Curtin also could have adjusted his tactics. Both Wenger and Le Toux have played centrally before, and given the tendency for Maidana to move from the center of the pitch to the wings during attacks, playing a two-striker formation could have helped the Union in the latter stages of games. Assists can happen anywhere on the field, but goals are scored in front of the net, and there were far too many times where Casey was on an island by himself with two center backs to deal with. We simply needed more bodies in front of goal.

Is it Mbolhi’s fault?

Aside from offensive support, the other reason people point to for the collapse is the signing of Rais Mbolhi.

I was as puzzled with the move as anyone else. I understood that it was a move that capitalized on World Cup fever in the US. I also realize that it’s a really crappy way to treat your current goalie, especially when he’s having a very good season and showing great improvement over previous years.

Regardless, that move didn’t cause the Union’s collapse.

Sakiewicz wasn’t sitting in a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial ready to hit a sprinkler button when Rais was clearing the ball against Chicago. Mbolhi just shanked it. He screwed the pooch, just like plenty of good players have done before. Robert Green gifted the USA a goal against England in the 2010 World Cup. Last time I checked, he’s still doing pretty well for himself nowadays. Danny Califf played a weak back pass against Toronto in our first season, and he decided to make up for it by elbowing an onrushing opponent in the face and getting sent off early in the match. People still fondly remember his time in Philadelphia over the next two years.

Mbolhi didn’t cause the late season collapse. He wasn’t the reason we couldn’t score on Houston at home. He wasn’t the reason we conceded a two-goal lead in a span of 5 minutes to Columbus. He also wasn’t the reason we let both Colorado and Vancouver score three goals apiece at PPL Park this season to rob us of 4 points.

If you disagree with his signing, that’s fine. Maybe the payoff from this deal doesn’t happen until next year. Maybe it doesn’t happen at all.

Just don’t point to his signing as the reason we’re not playing any games after this weekend.


As far as off-field issues go, I can understand reasons to be less than pleased with Sakiewicz’s leadership.

This tifogate incident can turn into a big fiasco. I’m a SoBs member sitting in the land end of the stadium, and I am all for people being able to voice their displeasure, but I’ll leave that discussion to more informed and more qualified people.

I know that everyone would certainly like paved parking lots, although it’s a good thing money wasn’t wasted paving Lot B under for the new practice facility.

Some people also wanted a different jersey sponsor. As far as the Bimbo deal goes, I’m content with it. It’s not like everyone else in the league has a household name on their jerseys. The only one I really recognized was Xbox, and they didn’t exactly get a return on their investment considering I just upgraded from an Xbox 360 to a PS4.

I’d defer to a woman’s perspective on this, but I think people are seriously overhyping the confusion between ‘Bimbo’ the company and ‘bimbo’ the insult. The only times I’ve heard someone use the term ‘bimbo’ in recent years is when my father complains about a woman making boneheaded comments on whatever political news station he happens to be watching that day. I’m not so sure the younger fans at Union matches even know what the word means.

As for some of the sponsors that people have suggested, I don’t think they were realistic options. Having Tastykake instead of Bimbo would have been a nice touch from a fan’s perspective, but that would be like asking the front office of Pepsi if they would like to put Sierra Mist on a jersey. Wawa doesn’t need to sponsor us. They already have their customers hooked. They have gas stations, iced tea and hoagies all in one location. They also have the Gobbler. I swear the cranberry sauce they use on the Gobbler is supplied by Colombian drug lords. Yuengling would have been nice sponsor, but at some point we would have to deal with the headache of a team called the Union in a blue collar city being sponsored by a company whose owner wants to make Pennsylvania a right-to-work state. I’d say something regarding Comcast and their horrendous customer service, but I’m afraid their CEO will appear on my TV and start choking me with the Force. Doesn’t matter that I have DirecTV. They’d find a way.

There’s only so much a person can do to help without actually stepping on the field

In the end, the main point of grievance against Sakiewicz seems to be the on-field product. To that end, I say that there’s only so much a person can do to help the team without actually stepping on the field.

This team had plenty of talent and veteran leadership to succeed. They pushed the best MLS team this season to the limit in a cup final. They beat the reigning MLS champions twice without their strongest lineup. They added Edu, Nogueira, Maidana, White, Berry, Ribeiro, Marquez, Blake, Wenger, Valdes, Mbolhi and Brown.

The front office did everything possible to bring in weapons built to succeed, both now and in the future. The players and coaches just didn’t get it done in the end.

Does the team have personnel issues to deal with this offseason? Sure they do. I think it was wise to hold off on naming a new permanent coach until after the season. They jumped the gun when they quickly hired Hackworth after Peter Nowak went a little funny in the head and nuked his own team.

Do I think Curtin is the right man to lead us forward? Perhaps. I’m not quite sure.

The team significantly improved during the second half, but I would have liked a little more flexibility with his formations late in games. There are also plenty of roster decisions that need to be made, and these decisions will definitely affect our opinion of the front office. That’s no reason not to appreciate the work they put into the team this year.

Should the Philadelphia Union have made the 2014 MLS Playoffs?


Did they fail because Nick Sakiewicz didn’t put them in a position to win?



  1. Alex Schaefer says:

    Who’s ever decision it was to only have Casey, wenger, le toux, and Cruz is at fault for union not making playoffs. Le toux is great, Casey too old to rely on over a whole season. Wenger and Cruz cannot finish consistently.

    However, sak is completely at fault for alienating fan base and bad manager hires. Hack and curtin are too young to be managers let alone GMs.

  2. “Did they fail because Nick Sakiewicz didn’t put them in a position to win?


    Throughout the five years of mediocrity there’s been one common denominator – Sakiewicz. Until he is replaced the Union will continue to struggle. His record is well known. Ignore it at your own peril.

  3. The team had less points then last year’s mediocre team. He is in charge of the team.

    It’s really simple math.

  4. I definitely appreciate this different point of view and agree that it’s not fair to blame Sakiewicz for everything….

    But. He is the guy in charge and needs to accept a little more accountability instead of dodging it or blaming it all on Curtin. Curtin’s record as a manager might be one of the best by a first time manager in the league, despite the Chicago draw and the “Columbus massacre.” Jay Heaps and Ben Olsen didn’t put together first season success the way Curtin has.

    He might be hard nosed and stubborn, but I think he knows more about who on the roster puts the team in the best position to win. Maybe playing Casey for 60 in October was like trying to squeeze even more blood from a stone, but, as you say, that lineup came within an inch of beating one of the best two teams in the league in the USOC final.

    Yeah, the players made the mistakes, but the fact that this team’s only depth was in the midfield is ultimately Sack’s fault. It would be nice to just hear him take responsibility for that and be up front about what he plans to do about it.

  5. People blame Nick for 1 playoff appearance in 5 years. They blame him for giving Hackworth the gig without ever interviewing anyone else. This season’s failure is mostly on Hackworth. Curtin got the team back into the playoff race and (whoever the manages player signings and transfers) blew it in the transfer window signing an inexperienced striker and overpriced GK who could only play 4 games.

    I don’t think anyone is putting all of the specific failures of this season in the hands of Sakiewicz but he did hire Hackworth. Sakiewicz denies involvement in player moves but someone has to take the blame for the midseason transfer window failure.

    • I would love for Jonathan or whoever is at the next presser to ask Curtin/ Albright flat out if they manage player signings and transfers. Let’s get to the bottom line it’s either them or SAK. They both can’t deny it’s their responsibility

  6. it was Robert Green not Joe Hart in the 2010 WC

  7. You had me until you mentioned Joe Hart…it was Robert Green and I’d argue he never recovered from that mistake. Obviously scrutiny is greater for a World Cup, but I don’t know if M’Bholhi is guaranteed to get over it.

    • I was just typing the same, so including under your comment
      Good Article and appreciate the effort
      Feel compelled to correct one error though which relates to your M’Bohli point. ( For the record though I agree that M’Bohli is not to blame for our missing the playoffs)
      It was Robert Green that started and gave up the goal to the US in 2010. He was replaced in the next game and for the rest of the 2010 World Cup by an even more veteran keeper David James. He hasn’t ever fully recovered getting relegated with West Ham, released, signed as a backup for QPR, relegated again and only 3 years later finally starting again in the Championship. And he didn’t get called up for or make another appearance to England for a full two years after his mistake. And it is still mentioned almost every game he plays by whatever crew is announcing the game.

  8. Great article.

    BUUUTTT, wasn’t that Robert Green that blundered in 2010?

    He’s a slightly different from Joe Hart

  9. I think the biggest issue, beyond any personnel decisions, is Sak’s persona. He comes across as arrogant, aloof, and out of touch with the fanbase. Every time he talks, I feel like he digs himself a deeper hole, offends the teams most loyal fans, and/or deflects blame elsewhere. Layer that on top of a disappointing season, and it’s easy to understand the majority of people wanting him to move along.

    • Don’t see that at all. I have met Sak on several occasions. The first time I met him at an event having nothing to do with the Union, he spent 45min one on one with me wanting to get input from a loyal season ticket holder. I think the surveying done by the Team is beyond what most organizations due for their fan’s.

      • I agree that the organization overall is fan focused, creates a nice game day exeperience, tries to offer up events that reward and recognize, etc. And perhaps Sak is a good guy at heart who just needs a PR coach or publicist to help with some of his statements. I’m thinking of how he dismissed legitimate questions about the need for MBolhi by saying he played in “this little tournament” that we may have heard of…his more recent comments about fans questioning his involvement in personnel decisions as being flat out wrong despite evidence to the contrary…deflecting the same personnel questions towards Curtin/Albright instead of taking any ownership. He rubs people the wrong way, whether that’s his true personality, or just sloppy public speaking.

  10. Yep, I totally blew it on the Joe Hart thing. No idea why I thought that was him.
    I M’Bolhied that one.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      We both Mbolhied that one (note to everyone, we were informed months ago by the Union that Mbolhi does not use an apostrophe in his name).
      Anyway apologies, Joe, it’s my job as editor to correct things like that and I breezed right past it. I updated the article at 12:01, but not fast enough. Now if everyone can move past that and engage with the substance of what you have to say…

      • In my defense, I wasn’t trying to do an editing “gotcha.” I was trying to say that sometimes Goalies take a big gaffe pretty hard, but moving on.

  11. I commend the effort. Let’s take Rais, but not the Robert Green comparison because who knows, right?
    At the grand announcement ceremony, Sak took center stage. Sak said he was our starting keeper. Sak resorted to sarcasm when referring to the WC in which Mbolhi just played. And Sak surely had at least the final say in Andrew Blake. Where has he ever addressed the obvious dilemmas of 2 international GKs? obsession with the position in his MLS career is documented. Here we are playing the last game only for pride and the future. Afterward Rais will have played in but 4 of the games since Sak said he’s #1. And all of the reasons and number of games -except one (the visa snafu) were known on that day. Soon these pages were filled with speculation about the number of games Rais could make. So knowing all that, why “starter?” Why not “2015 incumbent?” Hell, even Zac has said he didn’t expect to start so much after #92 appeared. (Were there a comparison of character between MacMath & Sakiewicz, it wouldn’t be close.) Why didn’t someone tell him? Because they didn’t know either. And this is not an outlier. This is a microcosm of the broader failure of direction that is Sakiewicz’s trademark. The recent denials of responsibility, # tifogate & calling fans “wrong” are the latest chinks in his body armor. The overwhelming body of evidence proves that Sak is guilty as charged in the PSP poll. Unfortunately we will all serve his sentence until he goes.

  12. PD in Wilmington says:

    I give the FO full marks for addressing the pros of last season.
    I give FO fill blame for thinking Hackworth would have a fog what to do with that talent.

    M’Bohli has been a fiasco not for the on the field error, that was simple Karma. It’s the fact that it was touted as the acquisition of the season and it’s been a comedy of errors instead, between the delay in his getting on the field to his only playing, what three times this season,completely alienating your defacto starter and number 2 in the process.

    I give Sak full credit for bringing the entrepreneur who brought a club to Philly. But one thing that is true in in any business is that the skills needed to create an idea are not always the same skills needed to grown and evolve an idea. His track record shows that for as good as he is at opening clubs, he’s crap at keeping them open. It’s time for him to move on.

  13. Truthfully, none of us knows exactly what impact any one individual in the front office has on the team. If Sugarman and the owners don’t open the purse strings, then we blame Sakiewicz for making mediocre signings.
    The biggest issue I have with Sakiewicz is the lack of honesty, and more importantly, the blatant and arrogant disregard for legitimate fan concerns. Not taking ownership of the tifogate mistake was the best and most egregious example in my mind. The only thing that can top that would be to tell the SoB’s to “STFU,” but no owner in their right mind would say that…wait, what? oh, nevermind.

  14. union had the lead in the open cup.
    union had the lead against the fire.
    union had the lead against the crew.
    …thats all i keep thinking about.

  15. Great read and insight. Thanks

  16. the 2013 team was not that talented or deep. the 2014 team tried to add some MFs but then had problems in defense and attack – again, not that talented or deep. the needs in 2013 were addressed in 2014 but now the “strengths” of 2013 are the needs for 2015. maybe Rais can be a WC level goalie all the time but it is more likely he will be what he was – an Eastern European league goalie who shuttled from team to team in search of playing time. he has a french passport and could play anywhere in Europe, so draw your own conclusions. maybe Carlos can be a WC level defender but it looks like he will be an average MLS defender like he has been. who sold us the “WC level goalie” and “WC defender” stuff? Sak. Maybe Curtin and Albright have final say but if Sak and the owners don’t like it, they fire them and bring in the next interim manager. I’d have patience if a clear philosophy other than “anything that gets a result” was evident but it isn’t. launching a team and asking for more time after 5 years because you just launched the team is stale and weak. hearing sugarman quoted as blurting out “we should have signed a forward” is laughable – open your checkbook and make all of the other investors do it too! the team lacks resources – capital, infrastructure, management personnel, playing personnel. many startups fail – the lack of these resources (usually only 1 or 2 of them) is the typical reason. this is not to question anyone’s effort or good faith, just an analysis of the situation. once the “new, shiny” affect fades, performance is what counts – and the Union do not have the decades of goodwill that the other Philadelphia sports clubs have (and even they spend that goodwill like drunken sailors) to withstand much more water-treading. #sakout #spendorsellsugarman

  17. Wasn’t Sierra Mist in fact a jersey sponsor in MLS at one time?? I have a distinct memory of seeing a Curtin photo with Sierra Mist on the jersey….

  18. I respect that you took the time to defend a losing argument. The least I can do is spend some time defending the winning one. So here it goes…
    “Some say it was because the Union never brought in a world-class striker to either back up or replace the talented but aging Conor Casey. If you believe that’s the case, please point out a forward picked up by any MLS team during the midseason window that has made any real impact.”
    The attack dried up near the end of the season, not because we didn’t go out and sign a big-name striker, but because we have no depth at the position. When I say we lack attacking depth, I don’t mean in the number of strikers (to the contrary, we probably have more strikers on the payroll than we need), but rather the drop-off in skill level between our main starters and the bench. We have Casey and LeToux (who are only MLS average to begin with), and then a bunch of guys who barely deserve to start in Harrisburg. Either way, that’s on Sakiewicz. It’s not like we didn’t have money to spend. Sakiewicz just decided to spend that money on a third starting-quality keeper instead of attacking depth that we desperately needed. Pointing out forwards picked up midseason that made an impact (or lack thereof) is irrelevant; the teams that didn’t sign new forwards midseason already had the depth they needed. The ones who didn’t already have the attacking depth they needed and/or didn’t sign an effective forward midseason are now out of the playoffs alongside us.
    “Also, if you think bringing in a world-class player or two will instantly fix your problems, ask Toronto how their season has gone. Then swing by Montreal and see if Marco Di Vaio is leading them to success. World-class players can’t do much if the team around them can’t support their level of play.”
    Nobody is saying we need world-class players all around. In fact, there was a poll on PSP that specifically asked this question (this was before Toronto’s and Montreal’s seasons collapsed, so 20/20 hindsight plays no part), and the results indicated that the fan base (at least the intelligent ones who frequent PSP) in general would rather have an Edu for $600 K than a Bradley for $6 M.
    “This is the part where I believe Jim Curtin failed to capitalize on the resources available to him. He could have recalled Wheeler and Hoppenot. Both have had MLS experience, and both of them showed that they could contribute, even if they weren’t blowing the doors off of teams.”
    I half-agree with this argument. I agree that Curtin made some tactical mistakes near the end of the season. But most of the striker-related personnel mistakes were inherent, through the Unions’ lack of attacking depth. Hoppenot and Wheeler are just not starting XI material. The only tactical decision of Curtin’s I saw that directly cost us a game was the meltdown against Columbus, which he then fixed against SKC. About the switch to a 4-4-2: it would have been a good idea midseason, but not as late in the season as you’re talking about. Even if the formation is a better strategic choice (which I agree that it is), there’s a sort of learning curve when a new formation is introduced after the same formation has been used for so long prior to the switch.
    “Just don’t point to [M’Bolhi’s] signing as the reason we’re not playing any games after this weekend.”
    In regards to M’Bolhi, I primarily agreed up until this point. It was not M’Bolhi’s fault that we didn’t make the post-season. But even though it wasn’t his fault, his signing is the primary reason we’re not in the post-season. Sakiewicz signed an expensive player in a position that we didn’t need in lieu of filling a position in attack that we did need. M’Bolhi’s blunder was just the catalyst that sparked the widespread closer look into Sakiewicz’s mismanagement. In fact, your defense of M’Bolhi is essentially counterproductive to your defense of Sakiewicz…I’m not sure there’s much logic behind defending M’Bolhi and Sakiewicz simultaneously.
    “They added Edu, Nogueira, Maidana, White, Berry, Ribeiro, Marquez, Blake, Wenger, Valdes, Mbolhi and Brown. The front office did everything possible to bring in weapons built to succeed, both now and in the future. The players and coaches just didn’t get it done in the end.”
    I think maybe you’re forgetting that MLS is a growing league. It’s not the EPL where the best teams can’t really get better. Every team, from Columbus to Seattle, is signing better and better talent each year. So if the Union finish below the line, they need to do better than just improving the quality of players that they sign, because the teams above the line are doing the same. In order to improve our standing in the league, we need to sign players of quality two years ahead of the curve. So yes, Sakiewicz and the FO are improving the team each year. But it seems more apparent each year that they’re improvements are reactionary—meant only to preserve the level of ticket sales and profits. A proactive front office would look to jump and keep ahead of the curve, while ours is only interested in catching up to it. You can’t honestly think Sakiewicz and the other owners are putting that much effort into this team when Orlando, which is half the market size that Philly is, has signed Kaka for twice as much per year as we pay our entire roster.
    I swear when I started this i didn’t intend on it being so protracted.

  19. The Chopper says:

    Firstly, thanks for taking the time to write this. You took on a thankless task and that is honorable. You didn’t have to do that.

    Sak is abrasive, arrogrant and too often thin skinned in public. This bluster causes every misstep to be amplified and magnified and accomplishments worthy of praise to be overly diminished.

    One other point that is rarely brought up is that Sak is the steward of the ownership group’s (of which he is a member) funds. They insist on the club turning a profit and not having to come out of pocket on any more expenses.

    Thus, the team is pinching pennies in the front office and the end result is that Sak is spread way too thin. The first team President leaves, he is not replaced. Sak becomes front man, other responsibilities are divided up and a salary line is cut. Nowak leaves, Hackworth is elevated, Sak expands role on soccer side and more money is saved. Hackworth is jettisoned, no real replacement, existing technical staff and Sak do more etc.

    Mr. Sakiewicz has certainly earned the ire of his customer base. His actions have created mistrust and frustration. But he certainly is walking a tightrope and I appreciate the complexity of his position .

    • James Lockerbie says:

      Well said. That sentiment is what I was trying to cover with the Father Sakiewicz fan view. He is the face of the team and he doesn’t seem to have the personality of a team representative. He is covering too many areas of responsibility of the front office. We don’t know if that is on design or lack of funds. So as the face of the team he gets the heat.

      by the way, Joe you’re like John Adams representing the Squad of British Redcoats at the trial of the
      Boston massacre.

    • Little Fish says:

      @chopper Your comments regarding Sak’s expanded role are very well stated and accurate come to think of it. One can certainly not accuse Sak of not earning his paycheck. The Goalie thing is totally whack but otherwise I can’t really fault his ‘efforts.’

  20. Here’s how I see it. I think we should get rid of Sak, make Curtin assistant and pick up a new head coach (Mulensteen?). curtin has made too many poor decisions with our style of play and substitutes. Yes, not everything that has put this team in a bad spot is Curtins fault or Saks for that matter. We desparetly need smarter players on this team. I hope to see a huge change in the roster this off season, wether it be calling players up or letting players go.

  21. My disgust with Sakiewicz is with the lack of a clear plan for the team. In 2010, Nowak’s team was “the Union are a team that is going to build around the youth.” Then, in 2011, we brought in some non-youth (like Carroll and Mondragon) and suddenly we made it to the playoffs. In 2012, we only played our three homegrown players for a total of 47 minutes all season, which was 47 minutes more than in all of 2013 and 46 minutes more than in all of 2014.

    I think the best teams find a way to develop their youth players and get them minutes in real games (like Luis Gil at RSL, Jonathan Osorio at TFC, Kelyn Rowe at NE). Our youth are not going to be ready to step up if they are never given the chance to play. Pfeffer beating 17 year-olds is great, but he needs to get MLS minutes soon or he won’t develop. Unfortunately, he may go the way of Roger Torres: good promise, but underutilized and unable to get onto the field enough to improve.

  22. Anthony Nicolodi says:

    Do you still feel like nick sakiewicz is not the problem? Id like to hear an update on this. Maybe respond back to me via email?? Meeeehhh????

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