After parts of three seasons on the job, John Hackworth has been fired as the Philadelphia Union's head coach. Hackworth, who had previously been a Union assistant, took over for Peter Nowak in June 2012 and despite leading Philadelphia franchise record 12 wins last season, was undone by a slow start this year.
For virtually the first time in their history, the Union actually spent some significant money on off-season additions but have slumped to a 3-7-6 record while giving up the second most goals in the league. The Union were 23-30-20 during Hackworth's entire tenure. His final game saw the Union fall behind the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0, storm back ahead to take a 3-2 lead before ultimately settling for a tie at home.
"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," Philadelphia Union CEO & operating partner Nick Sakiewicz said according to the team's website where the news of the firing was first revealed. "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."
While that search is conducted, the Union will be led by current assistant Jim Curtain. Curtain, a former MLS defender, has worked for the Union since being hired to run their academy in 2012. He'll making his head coaching debut on June 17 when the Union play the Harrisburg City Islanders in the U.S. Open Cup.