MLS- Philadelphia Union

Hackworth awarded Union coaching job on permanent basis

Hackworth (Getty Images)

John Hackworth is no longer the interim head coach of the Philadelphia Union. He's on the job permanently.

The Union removed the interim label from Hackworth, who took over after the firing of Peter Nowak and steadied the club. He has amassed a 5-6-2 record in charge after the horrid 2-7-2 start that put the Union in an early hole in the Eastern Conference standings a year after they were in the conference semifinals.

"John deserves to become our permanent team manager," Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz said in a team statement. "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." 

Do you think it's deserved? Think Hackworth can get the Union back to the postseason? What player personnel changes do you think the club needs to make to get better?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Dennis

    Based on last night results, the entire Union team needs to learn to defend in numbers. They basically surrendered 2 easy chances late in the game and one of those resulted in a goal. Sure, in the last 20-30 minutes they looked more attack oriented and the game was a lot more fun to watch, but the price of that was a conspicuous lack of defending in numbers (against a team that was down a player yet).

    My limited experience is that the Union can manage to attack or defend, but does not have the personnel or team mindset to do both. Until they do, they will be either dull to watch (most of last night’s game) or exciting, but porous in the midfield and back on defense.

    I’m not sure why one (Hoppenot) or 2 (Adu) made such a difference in the whole team’s mindset, but they seemed to. Immediately upon the first of those subs, the Union looked more attack oriented then with the Crew down to 10 men and with Adu’s addition, that attack intensified, yet the players who had paid attention to defensive responsibilities seemed to suddenly lose interest in that and were caught forward and ball-watching on counter-attacks. (I don’t Jack Mac and Cruz were taking that much responsibility for defending, so their absence is not really the cause).

    It is something Hackworth must be racking his brain over right now.


  • Tyler


    As a Fire fan, I love this. This guy is no better and potentially even worse than Nowak. He benched his most dangerous attacking player (Adu) in the match that basically decided their season fate and has been not using their second best attacking player, Torres. They looked not good until Adu came in with only 10 minutes remaining and he made things happen instantly.

    Anyways, great decision. Keep hiring these clown coaches so we have one less team to worry about in the East.


  • Union67

    Just means it’s now time to put up or shut up! 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 more 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!


  • PD

    I know I’ve said this like 4 times in the last 5 days but I’ll say it again. It’s too soon to tell because the team has not started it’s best XI post Nowak yet. If I were Hackworth my goal would be to get Soumare and Valdes starting with Okugo and a sub for either and Carroll. Keep bring Williams and Garfan along and bring in one solid fullback that can play right or left. Dump everyone else for now (I’m looking at Gaddis). In midfield my goal would be to keep Carroll as the #4, with Okugo grooming as his eventual replacement. Dump Lahoud.
    In front of him it’s Adu Torres and Marfan. Get these three guys to play nice and they will be a real handful. Daniel and Gomez offer other options tactically. Up top McInerny and Hoppenot are a great quick and scrappy striker, but the U are lacking a second striker that can hold the ball and offer some height. Lastly, get a vet keeper before you ruin whatever potential MacMath has. As the season has worn on he has gotten worse at managing his area and dealing with crosses and the entire league knows it. The kid is good but he’s just not ready.

    So, there’s a lot of positives and Hackworth gas yet to be able to make his case. Once these elements are sorted out I thinknwe’ll see this team play a really attractive and effective style if soccer. Until then it will continue to sputter and disappoint.


  • ViC El Paso Texas

    wow, union is killing their fans by the season. WTF, go get ballack or any DP that is worth the money. i can not believe it, i thought Philly would be just up there with NY Red Bull leaving behind Dc, Chicago and the Revs.Poor Union fans, the new Chivas USA.Someone should tell garber, that even though there is a salary cap and “parity.” Teams like Union,Fc dallas,Rapids dont even use the parity in their advantage. So forget about low salary cap and parity, and let the teams suffer up to their taste.


  • A wise man once

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but FC Dallas have been doing really well lately.


  • Rivaldo

    Eugene…hmmm must be gaelic for DICKHEAD

    Good for you Hack. You are one of the few coaches in this country with real integrity


  • Dave

    I heard a great commentary that the union need leadership, a big CB and a striker that commands the ball and scores. Oh yeah, why did we trade Califf and LeToux?


  • Eugene

    Sorry, I don’t know gaelic. And I don’t know what gaelic would have anything to do with this. But I’ll leave it to you, enjoy your new coach. And I’ll enjoy NY putting a boot on you every time we play.


  • Stracho

    Don’t sub Carroll play your better players. Bakary and Valdez in the back and Carroll and Okugo right in front of them in a 4-2-3-1… That said we need finishing and leadership on the attack in a bad way. Higuain makes me jealous.


  • Andy in Atlanta

    He needs to figure out how to best use Adu… set personal pride aside and utilize a gifted player… don’t piss on him like he is now.


  • pd

    Right on. I was thinking that Okugo would get starts at both CB or DM next season platooning for Carroll and Valdes, but your idea makes total sense as well.


  • Obi wan Mc(not)Snarky

    Can you explain a little more about the broke thing? I have heard statements like this in other discussion, but then there is very little follow up. I’m sincerely asking for more info, not being snarky.


  • Freddy Adu

    Any coach who doesn’t see the value, skill, speed and defending ability of Freddy Adu does not deserve the job.


  • Rivaldo

    Oh yes New York that storied franchise
    The most boring team in professional soccer history


  • Union67

    He is barely 5’7″ and that’s being generous! The Union could keep him but he is not the go to guy, especially when teams can so easily box him out. He’d be more effective in a tamdem with a bigger strong striker with the ability to hold off defenders so McInereny can run off of the play. But with a team full small players it reduces his effectiveness to practically nil!


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