Technical Staff

John Hackworth

Team Manager

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, 2012 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.

 


Rob Vartughian

Coach/Technical Director

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.


 Jim Curtin

Assistant Coach

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.

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.

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.


    

Mike Sorber

Assistant coach

Mike Sorber coached alongside Union manager John Hackworth with the U.S. men's national team and remains the only former U.S. international to have played for and coached the United States in a FIFA World Cup. He joined the Union with over 10 years of coaching experience and holds a USSF “A” Coaching License.

Sorber began his coaching career in 2001, working as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Saint Louis University. He joined the USMNT in 2007, where he worked under Bob Bradley. During his time on staff as an assistant coach with the U.S. National Team, he helped the squad capture the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and knock off No. 1 Spain in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. Sorber also coached the 2010 USMNT FIFA World Cup squad that finished first in Group C and advanced to the Round of 16. The Missouri native spent two seasons with the Montreal Impact (2011-2013) before joining the Philadelphia Union.

From 1992-1998, Sorber played in 67 matches with the USMNT National Team. He also represented his country in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, starting in all four matches the Americans played.

Sorber began his professional career with UNAM Pumas in the Mexican Primera Division, where he played in 51 games during two seasons with the club. He also was named to the Mexican First Division All-League Team, becoming the first American player to achieve that honor.

Sorber joined Major League Soccer and was allocated to the Kansas City Wizards in 1996. During his five seasons MLS, he made over 170 League appearances with three different clubs (Kansas City Wizards, New York MetroStars and Chicago Fire), recording nine goals and 17 assists.


    

Chris Albright

Assistant Technical Director/Assistant Coach

Chris Albright's role with the Union directly involves player management and movement in addition to player and coaching decisions. He also assists the Union in corporate business development areas and maintains a role as an ambassador for the club in youth development and community efforts throughout the region.

Albright joins the Union technical corps after an illustrious professional career that found him play for five MLS clubs and appear in 235 matches with career totals of 11 goals and 22 assists. The three-time MLS All-Star defender won MLS Cups with D.C. United in 1999 and with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 and 2005. Albright also earned 22 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team and was a member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup team in Germany.

A Philadelphia native, Albright ended his career where it began and now resides in suburban Philadelphia with his wife Leah, and his two children, Wyatt and Ava. 


   

Ricardo Ansaldi

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.


Paul Rushing

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

Strength and Conditioning Coach

Kevin Miller began as a strength and conditioning coach in 2002.  He worked with the Philadelphia Union during their inaugural season in 2010 on a part time basis.  He then joined the club as a full time member of the technical staff in 2011. 

Miller’s philosophy rests in the belief of consistency, confidence, hard work and having a plan for achieving goals.  Miller also implements training technologies with the Union players such as Omegawave system that tests player’s heart rate variability and state of readiness before and after participation; Bioforce Heart Rate Variability and MiCoach Adidas.

A certified strength and 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.  He has also taken courses with Postural Restoration Institute and seminars in Functional Movement Screening.   

An athlete himself, he has completed three Ironman Triathlons, ten marathons and a series of running and Xterra races.

Kevin is constantly educating himself and others.  He has given several presentations on Health and Fitness to area companies, school districts and local organizations such as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Pennsylvania State Troopers.  His bi-weekly blog on the Union website "Goal Orientedis also co-hosted by Philly.com Health

Kevin lives in Springfield with his wife Mary Jo and their three children Ryan, Connor and Kate.


Josh Gros

Team Coordinator

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.


Ford Gaitley

Equipment Director


Brandon Comisky

Equipment Coordinator