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Union part ways with Hackworth

John Hackworth

Photo by ISI


After less than two years in charge of the club, John Hackworth is no longer managing the Philadelphia Union.

The Union announced Tuesday that they have relieved Hackworth of his duties as team manager and named assistant coach Jim Curtin interim manager, effective immediately.

Hackworth posted a 23-30-20 record since taking charge of the team in June of 2012, but the club currently sits eighth in the Eastern Conference.

“We are an ambitious club and although we are just in our fifth season we expect to win and be in the top tier of MLS,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & operating partner Nick Sakiewicz. “We have begun an ambitious and 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. “We appreciate the work, time and efforts John Hackworth put into building the club and his influence on our youth academy. He is a first class person and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Curtin played 151 games for the Chicago Fire from 2001-2008 before spending his final two seasons with Chivas USA. Prior to his appointment as interim manager, Curtin was an assistant coach with the club’s first team after spending three years working with the Union academy.

Curtin’s first game in charge will come June 17 when the Union host the Harrisburg City Islanders in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup at PPL Park.

What do you think of the Union parting ways with Hackworth?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I agree with everything in your post. Ambition is in the eye if the beholder and the union seem to have glaucoma in that eye. Their ambition is adequate of mls of early years, we should be nabbing some pretty decent players to fill the 11 and Cruz isn’t it. Also we need a manager who is able to navigate the game and be able to make adjustments on the fly….we can’t keep making scheduled subs all the time….teams are hip to our gameplan because it never changes.

  2. This needed to happen for the life of this franchise. I said it before, this is a top media and sports market with a team in a league that is trying to be taken seriously. You need to build a team and organization that is representative of that market. Now they need to bring in a manager with solid soccer pedigree in all aspects of the game. I don’t think they should go with someone who was on the staff. Curtin as interim manager is an interesting choice. But an outside choice should be the option moving forward. I think the overall staff and team needs to be re-evaluated by whoever takes over as manager. While Hackworth was wrong for the job there are also some major posers wearing the Union jersey who should also go .In order to play for the Union players need to have MLS level soccer skills at the very least. Danny Cruz for example, for all of his admirable hustle, could be out of here once the talent, and skill level as well as work ethic of the players is evaluated. I am surprised that this happened so soon. I was hoping it would happen over the WC break, but I honestly thought it would be at the end of the season. I don’t think this will be Hackworth’s last shot at MLS.

  3. This is empty position now no? It would be honor to almost drop your team to second division…oh there is no second division? I am no longer interested….

  4. Freddy Adu was doing fine before Hackworth despite what the uninformed think. McInerney traded away for what? Finally Hackworth removed. The most useless coach in MLS.

  5. Can Sak please stop using the term “Union team manager?” Who else says that? Sorry folks, I don’t know why I find it a pet-peeve, but it’s just overly-stating things for no reason. We know the manager manages the team. Why not just say Union Manager?

    Any way I can complain about Nicky Sak I’m going to do it!

  6. He couldn’t coach a u-20 US team, why did anybody thing he can coach a pro team?
    US formula hire inept coach to guide the u-20, u-18, etc, watch him fail ,
    Get Him a job in MLS, watch him fail (shocker) then repeat…..

  7. I feel bad for the union, they have great fans but a very bad front office. Then their stadium is not what they were promised and Philadelphia can get some real dps but I don’t think they have the money or ambition. In addition, tfc red bull, skc, nycfc are gonna be in the top 5 every season in the east and no other east team shows guts and soccer future besides those teams.
    You have, dc, crew, New England, Chicago, Montreal, waiting for a miracle and them once Miami, Orlando and Atlanta join the league, the east will be a tough conference and hell hole for low ball teams.
    The east, will become the new west in 5 years. I don’t think the west will have as many teams as the east with deep pockets and ambition to win and win.

    • I feel bad for us too….
      But seriously you took the words right out of my mouth. It is frustrating seeing teams get very talented, big name players and then hearing crickets when it comes to Union transfer rumors. At this point, we need a solid centerback and a lethal finisher up top, but I don’t see those two arriving anytime soon. Perhaps trade Andre Blake? I would imagine he has some decent trade value.

  8. I doubt his name is in the running due to his duties with the US program but I really think Tab Ramos would make a great MLS coach.

    Sasho Cirovski, Bobby Clark, Hugo Perez, Richie Williams and Steve Cherundolo would also be on my shortlist.

    • Franks, Please tell me what is your rationale behind that statement regarding Tab
      Just would like to hear what why you say that

      • For me there’s a lot of similarities to Caleb Porter. He works well with young players, he’s up-and-coming, and his teams play an attacking style that I personally agree with (fluent and with a focus possession and technique).

        I prefer the younger progressive coaches (Porter, Kreis, Pareja, Robinson, Vermes etc.) who focus on youth and player development and who understand the North American soccer landscape. I think we’re starting to see these types of hirings phase out the ‘old school’ hard-nose American coaches such as Arena,Kinnear, Soehn, Yallop..

        Then of course there is the third option of going foreign which hardly seems to work out due to the complexities of the league (Backe, Winter, Osorio and of course Chelis). Also should note that it will be very interesting to see the Beckham’s Miami team does land Moyes.

        Anyways, just my 2 cents.

    • As a Union fan, I have really wanted tab ramos for the last two years (never liked Hack as a manager). But I don’t know if he would take the job. Unfortunately, I wanted him more when we still had Jack Mac.

  9. Not suprised, I think they look worse now than they did at the beginning of the season.

  10. And to think, the consensus among most US soccer press was that Philly “won” the off-season with a series of great moves and picks that were going to produce starters or guys who were compete for starting roles. I look at Philly and they actually seem to appear like a team that’s taken a step or two back from last season.

    • The lost the offseason when they Drafted a Goalie and put him on the bench instead of using the pick for a player that was work it Eric Miller, Marlon Hairston or anyone that was going to play and have an immediate impact. Its crazy that they let youth talent in Jack McInerney a potential franchise center piece leave but the held on to Conor Casey.

    • It’s because Maurice Edu is playing very poorly. The rest of the acquisitions have been average (at worst) to pretty damn good (at best).

  11. Man, this website goes out of its way to use every stupid Britishism in existence, but when you’ve got the opportunity to use a fun one–“Union Sack Hackworth”–it’s “part ways”.


  12. Jim Curtin is a great guy. I know he won’t be named head coach but I hope he does well in the little time he is given.
    One of the “good guys” in soccer today.

    • Whether he’s a good guy or not, the Union need somebody to come in from outside the organization to come in and shake things up. Hackworth did some things well, and the team is better now than when he came in, but he kept too much of what Nowak did. We need an entire restart.

      • Yeah, Curtin came from within, but he really has nothing to do with the Nowak/Hackworth ties. He was just promoted from the Union youth setup last year.
        He played mostly under the Arena tree, though no directly. Played for Bradley and then Sarachan when the Fire were good.

        I don’t think he should be hired after 4 games like Hack, but if he shows well for the remainder of the season, then possibly.
        He could be the next Kreis for all we know.

  13. Good guy, but the writing has been on the wall for weeks after the club finally opened its checkbook. It will be interesting to see where some of the players he coached and developed on the youth level who see a lot of time on the pitch, such as Danny Cruz, wind up in the future.

    • A whole lot of Union fans really hated Danny Cruz when he came in and for a while. He fell over constantly, lost the ball, had the worst first touch in the league. But he’s really been a lot better over the last few games. He hasn’t been totally integral and could definitely be moved if something better comes along but I could never see why anyone thought he should even see the field two months ago. Now I’m starting to like him as a starter on the wings. His speed, aggression and physicality really adds a lot.

      • As a Houston follower I can tell you that’s exactly why Kinnear decided he wasn’t worth a damn.

        Hackworth traded Jeff Parke, Jack Mac and bought out Keon Daniel, which were all really stupid moves.

      • Considering we still have Ashe, a similarly sloppy hustle player, I think that says how bad he though Cruz was ultimately. He even tried him at back which shows how hard Kinnear fights for hustling donkeys.

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