Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nowak out as Union team manager

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union have cut ties with gruff team manger Peter Nowak. Assistant John Hackworth will take over as interim team manager effective immediately. 

Hackworth, 42, has filled in for Nowak as head coach on multiple occasions during the club’s existence, leading the team in both Major League Soccer matches, international friendlies and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games.

Sporting Director Diego Gutierrez, Goalkeeper Coach Rob Vartughian and Reserve Team Coach Brendan Burke will remain in their current capacities with the club.

Hackworth came to Philadelphia Union after spending two years as an assistant coach with the U.S. Men’s National Team under Bob Bradley, helping guide the squad to a first place finish in group play in World Cup Qualifying and a second place finish in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. In addition to his position with the USMNT, Hackworth also served as the Development Academy Technical Director in U.S. Soccer’s player development initiative that launched in 2007.

Prior to joining the USMNT staff, Hackworth spent more than six years with the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. Hired by Bruce Arena, Hackworth served as head coach of the 2005 and 2007 World Cup teams, leading the squad to a fifth place finish in the 2005 U-17 World Cup and winning CONCACAF qualifying in both ‘05 and ‘07. While in Bradenton, Hackworth was instrumental in helping the maturation of some of the best young professionals, including Michael Bradley, Jonathan Spector, Jozy Altidore, and a large number of Union players.

In 2008, Hackworth was recognized for his contribution to the game of soccer, earning the United States Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year Award. Hackworth was a top level college coach for nine years, spending four as the head coach at the University of South Florida and five years as the top assistant at Wake Forest. During his tenure at USF, he helped the Bulls to a 47-32-2 (.592) record and two NCAA Tournament appearances (1998 and 2001). In 1998, Hackworth’s squad won the Conference USA Tournament championship and a share of the C-USA regular season title. For his efforts, Hackworth was tabbed the league’s Coach of the Year.

Born and raised in Dunedin, Fla., Hackworth graduated from Wake Forest University in 1992, helping his coach and Philadelphia soccer icon Walt Chyzowych lead the club to a No. 3 ranking nationally in 1991 and 1992.

Nowak, 47, was named Philadelphia Union’s first ever Team Manager on May 29, 2009 after an illustrious playing and coaching career.  In 75 MLS games, Nowak posted a 21-30-24 record and led the team to its first ever playoff appearance in 2011. He often butted heads with the team's most popular players, however, and traded former captain Danny Califf and former No. 1 pick Danny Mwanga recently after dealing the franchise's leading scorer, Sebastien Le Toux before the 2012 season started.

Hackworth’s first game as Team Manager will be this Saturday, June 16 when the Union host I-95 rival D.C. United at PPL Park at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet. 
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