Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Union fire Hackworth

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union fired team manager John Hackworth on Tuesday.

Assistant coach Jim Curtin will take over as interim team manager effective immediately.

A native of Oreland, Pennsylvania., Curtin, 34, played over two hundred games for the Chicago Fire and was named an MLS All-Star and the Fire’s defender of the year in 2004.  He helped the squad to two U.S. Open Cup titles in 2003 and 2006, as well as the 2003 MLS Supporters Shield.  Curtin played his final two seasons in the League with Chivas USA before retiring in 2009.

"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,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “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.”

In November of 2012, Curtin was hired as an assistant coach for the Union’s First Team after spending three years working with the Union Academy.  In addition to working as YSC’s Director of Curriculum Development, Curtin was also the Union’s Under-18 Academy head coach and was instrumental in the U-18s capturing the 2012 Generation Adidas Cup.

Curtin attended Villanova University, where he was named BIG EAST rookie of the year in 1997 and a three-time team MVP for the Wildcats. The All-American defender was a two-time first team All-BIG EAST selection in 1999 and 2000 and was the 2001 Philadelphia Soccer Seven Player of the Year. He became the first player from Villanova to be drafted into the MLS when he was selected by the Chicago Fire in 2002.

Hackworth posted a 23-30-20 all-time MLS record since taking over as interim team manager on June 13, 2012.  He led the Union to a franchise best 12 wins in 2013.

Curtin’s first game as interim team manager will be Tuesday, June 17 when the Union host the Harrisburg City Islanders in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup at PPL Park. 
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