CHESTER, Pa. (November 9, 2009) — Philadelphia Union, the expansion Major League Soccer club set to begin play in 2010, has announced the hiring of John Hackworth as Coach and Youth Development Coordinator. Hackworth comes to Philadelphia Union from the United States Men’s National Team that recently qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.
“From the start, I knew I wanted John to work with me here in Philadelphia,” explained Team Manager Peter Nowak. “He has proven his ability to nurture young players and that talent will be essential in our plan to develop them into successful professionals.”
Hackworth spent the last two years alongside Nowak as an assistant with the USMNT and helped guide the squad to a first place finish in group play in the World Cup Qualifying Round 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.
“The reason I made the move here and now is simple—Peter Nowak,” offered Hackworth. “After working with Peter on both the National and Olympic teams, I knew that I had to be a part of what he and (CEO & Operating Partner) Nick Sakiewicz are building here. It’s going to be something very special.”
Prior to his position with the USMNT, Hackworth spent more than six years at the helm of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., leading the team to first place finishes in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying in 2005 and 2007. During that time, he was instrumental in producing some of the United States’ best young professionals, including Michael Bradley, Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Jonathan Spector and Troy Perkins.
“Peter Nowak is making his mark from the start by bringing in John Hackworth, one of the brightest young coaches in the U.S. today,” said Sakiewicz. “With John as Peter’s top assistant and the head of our youth development program, I know our players will be as well prepared as any athletes anywhere and that our young players will receive top notch instruction from one of the best teachers in the game.”
Born and raised in Dunedin, Fla., Hackworth was also a top level college coach for nine years, spending four as the head coach at University of South Florida and five years as the top assistant at Wake Forest.
Hackworth was an accomplished collegiate player at Wake Forest under Philadelphia soccer legend Walter Chyzowych, where he helped the Demon Deacons 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, helping the team finish as national runners-up.