On Nov. 9, 2009 John Hackworth joined the Union as an assistant coach and youth development coordinator.
On June 13, 2012 he became the interim manager and on Aug. 30, 2013 he was officially named as the second team manager in Union history. Since the club's inception he has been key in creating a style of play and level of commitment for all who wear Philadelphia Union colors, from the first team all the way down the ladder in the youth program. Now as the Team Manager he will be responsible for scouting international players.
He spent two years as an assistant to former U.S. men's national team head coach Bob Bradley. He helped guide the USMNT 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, He 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, he spent more than six years with the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida. He served as head coach of the 2005 and 2007 U-17 World Cup teams and an assistant coach on the 2003 U-17 World Cup team. He led the 2005 squad to a fifth place finish, the second best finish in U-17 World Cup history. His teams won the U-17 CONCACAF qualifying in both ‘05 and ‘07. While in Bradenton, he was instrumental in helping the maturation of some of the biggest names on the USMNT, including Michael Bradley, Jonathan Spector, Jozy Altidore, Brek Shea. He also was able to help groom some current Union players, including Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan, Sheanon Williams, Zac MacMath and Danny Cruz.
In 2008, John Hackworth was recognized for his contribution to the game of soccer, earning the United States Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year Award. He 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, his squad won the Conference USA Tournament championship and a share of the C-USA regular season title. For his efforts, he was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
Born and raised in Dunedin, Florida, he graduated from Wake Forest in 1992. While at Wake Forest he played right back helping his coach and Philadelphia soccer icon Walt Chyzowych lead the club to a No. 3 ranking nationally in 1991 and 1992. He went on to play professionally for the Carolina Dynamo of the A-League in 1997, a team that finished as a national runner-up. Hackworth and wife Tricia have three sons.
Perhaps no one has had more success in the country at grooming some of the nation’s top goalkeepers than coach/technical director Rob Vartughian. Initially serving as assistant coach/goalkeeper coordinator for the Union, Vartughian is now Hackworth’s top assistant and technical director. In addition to his continued work with the goalkeepers and assisting Hackworth in player management and coaching decisions, Vartughian is responsible for overseeing the club’s scouting and evaluation of players.
In seven seasons with the University of Maryland men’s soccer team, he helped the Terps to two NCAA championships, 4 College Cups, 2 ACC championships, and seven straight NCAA tournament appearances. Vartughian has guided the careers of young goalkeepers with great success, including the Union’s 2011 MLS SuperDraft First Round selection Zac MacMath and former Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz. Both MacMath and Seitz made crucial saves to lead the Terps to an NCAA championship in their respective freshman seasons.
Vartughian was instrumental in not only working with the goalkeepers, but was heavily involved with all aspects of the program. His efforts helped land recruiting classes that were annually considered among the best in the country. Recognized as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches, he was an integral part of the player development of over 25 MLS Superdraft picks.
Before joining Maryland, Vartughian was an assistant at Penn, where he performed double duty as both the men’s and women’s goalkeeping instructor. Both of his keepers earned All-American and All-Ivy player of the year accolades. During his tenure, both the Quakers’ men’s and women’s teams went on to win Ivy League titles in 2001 and 2002.
In addition to his success at the collegiate level, he has served as goalkeeper coach at the national level. Involved with several of the U.S. youth national teams since 2007, Vartughian has also served as a scout for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy where he worked with current Union team manager John Hackworth.
Raised in North Brunswick, New Jersey, he attended North Brunswick High before moving on to play for St. Bonaventure University. Vartughian played for the Bonnies from 1996-99, before heading to Wake Forest in 2000 to play his final collegiate season while beginning his graduate work. During his three seasons with St. Bonaventure, he set records for shutouts in a single season and career goals-against average and he finished his college career as the starting goalkeeper at Wake, where he made 72 saves on the year. He spent 2001 with the South Jersey Barons of the USL before before moving onto play for the Hampton Roads Mariners and Charleston Battery of the A League. In between outdoor seasons, Vartughian spent time with Major Indoor Soccer League’s Philadelphia Kixx. Vartughian holds a BA in Finance, BA in Accounting, and an MBA. He and his wife Jessica have one child, their daughter Karter.
Brendan Burke became the head coach of Philadelphia’s reserve league in its inception in 2011. He also serves as the club's assistant youth director and is the head coach of the Reading United A.C. PDL squad.
He became the head coach of the Reading Rage (currently Reading Union) in 2008 after serving as its captain in 2007.
Burke is Reading United’s most successful coach in the club’s 15-year history with a 61-14-13 record and two trips to the PDL National Final Four and the 2009 regular season championship in five years. He has built a program that has recently seen some of the nation’s top talent come to train and play for Reading before entering the professional ranks. Sporting Kansas City’s CJ Sapong (MLS Rookie of the Year 2011), Montreal Impact’s Andrew Wenger (2012 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 pick), FC Dallas’ Matt Hedges (2012 MLS SuperDraft No. 11 pick), Hammarby IF’s Billy Schuler (Swedish football), and Luke Mulholland (2011 USL-Pro rookie of the year) are all examples of Burke’s successes as a coach. As a result of his accomplishments with Reading he was nominated to the 2010 PDL coach of the year.
He currently lives in Chestnut Hill, PA with his wife Carley.
Jim Curtin joins the Union’s staff as assistant coach of the senior squad.
A native of Oreland, Pa., Curtin was promoted to assistant coach of the senior squad on November 29, 2012, and will join team manager John Hackworth and assistant coaches Brendan Burke and Rob Vartughian.
In June 2010, Curtin joined the staff at YSC Sports in Wayne as the director of curriculum development. Additionally, Curtin was 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. The 2004 MLS All-Star played over two hundred games for the Fire as was named Chicago’s defender of the year in 2004 before finishing his final two seasons in the league with Chivas USA.
Curtin retired from the MLS in 2009 and moved back to Philadelphia with wife Jen his son Miles and his two daughters, Ryan and Avery.
Director of International Player Development
Ricardo’s career in soccer started in the 1980’s when he created the first Argentine venture which organized tours for youth soccer teams from Argentina to play in the United States. This venture brought more than 130 youth teams from Argentina to the U.S.
In the late 1990’s, Ricardo turned his attention to American teams who wanted to play in South America (mainly to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay). He worked with U.S. Soccer national teams (U-15BNT; U-17MNT; U-17WNT: U-18MNT: U-20MNT); MLS teams (Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, Seattle) and countless university teams, club teams and state association teams. He organized many international tournaments featuring United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Australia, Peru, New Zealand and Venezuelan clubs. This exposure has given Ricardo the unparalleled position to maintain soccer contacts at the highest level and the opportunity to watch literally hundreds of games, thousands of players and meet the most diverse groups of coaching staff from around the world
Ricardo has six children and an expansive family living in various parts of the globe from Buenos Aires to Miami, London to Los Angeles.
Head Athletic Trainer
Head Athletic Trainer Paul Rushing enters his third season with Philadelphia Union after spending five years as a certified athletic trainer for ATHLETICO, INC. Rushing was assigned to the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., where he previously worked with coach John Hackworth and a large number of Union players.
Prior to his work with the U-17’s, Rushing spent three years at the IMG/Bollettieri Sports Academies, where he worked with closely with both the men’s and women’s soccer programs. Certified in First Aid and CPR, he also served as a personal trainer, creating and monitoring customized diet and weight training programs.
A graduate of Western Illinois University Rushing served in the United States Navy as a Second Class Petty Officer and earned numerous service medals during his eight-year service.
Kevin Miller enters his second year as the Union Fitness Coach, after nine years as a sports performance coach in the strength and conditioning field. Miller’s philosophy rests in the belief of consistency, confidence, hard work and having a plan for reaching someone’s goals. Throughout his career, Miller has worked with a diverse group of clients ranging from kids to professional athletes.
A certified Strength & Conditioning specialist by NSCA, Miller also holds accreditations from USTAF (Level 1 Track & Field Coach), Erik Dalton (Myoskeletal Therapist Level 1) and education in Massage Therapy from Brandon Raynor School. An athlete himself, he has completed three Ironman Triathlons, ten marathons and a series of running and Xterra races.
Josh Gros knows what it takes to win a Major League Soccer Championship. A four-year starter for D.C. United, Gros helped lead the Black and Red to the 2004 MLS Cup in his first season. Now in his third season as Team Coordinator, Gros’ primary responsibilities involve many areas of team operations and administration.
Selected by D.C. United in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, Gros was immediately inserted into the starting lineup, becoming the club’s first draft pick to log more than 2,000 minutes. Known for his tireless work ethic, the Rutgers graduate logged over 9,000 minutes in 110 games, resulting in nine goals and 14 assists. Gros earned a cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team in a 2-0 victory over archrival Mexico on February 7, 2007. An unfortunate series of concussions forced the 2006 MLS All-Star into early retirement at the end of the 2007 season.
Prior to returning to MLS, Gros spent 18 months working as a civil engineer for VIKA, Inc., in Virginia. He continued to stay involved in soccer, however, serving as an assistant coach with the Northern Virginia Royals of the USL Premier Development League.
Equipment Director Tim Cook enters his third season with Philadelphia Union after spending three years with the United States Men’s Senior National Team. Having worked with some of the nation’s best players and coaches throughout all levels of U.S. Soccer, including Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Philadelphia Union’s own John Hackworth, Cook brings a world of experience to the City of Brotherly Love.
Raised in Sacramento, Calif., Cook graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in kinesiology in 2007. Immediately after graduation, he took a job with U.S. Soccer and outfitted the USMNT through CONCACAF World Cup qualifying round. The national team enjoyed one of its most successful stretches in history during Cook’s tenure, winning silver medals in both the Confederations Cup and the Gold Cup.