[MLS SPOTLIGHT]John Hackworth became the first MLS coach of the season to be fired as the Philadelphia Union relieved him of his duties after 16 games with a 3-7-6 record. Assistant coachJim Curtin will take over Hackworth's duties as team manager on an interim basis.
Despite a significant upgrade in personnel, notably the addition of U.S. international Maurice Edu, the Union is in eighth place after 16 games but only three points out of the playoffs. The Union had a nine-game winless streak earlier in the season but is 2-2-1 in its last five games. It rallied from 2-0 down against Vancouver to take a 3-2 lead before tying, 3-3, at home on Saturday.
Hackworth was Union coach for almost two years to the day after replacing Peter Nowak. Hackworth posted a 23-30-20 all-time MLS record. The former U.S. U-17 national team coach led the Union to a franchise-best 12 wins in 2013 though it did not reach the playoffs.
Curtin was hired as an assistant coach in November 2012 for the Union’s first team after spending three years working with the Union Academy.
Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz's 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. Our great fans, partners and community deserve a winning team and we will doing everything in our power to win. We appreciate the work, time and efforts John Hackworth put into building the club and his influence on our growing youth academy. He is a first class person and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”