John Hackworth has officially been named the manager of the Philadelphia Union. Though he had been the interim manager since the former manager had been fired earlier in the season, his future with the team had not been officially confirmed. Before becoming the interim manager, Hackworth had been the assistant manager and was very familiar with the ins and outs of the team and players. He was the clear choice for the role and there will likely be a lot of pressure on him in the 2013 season to turn things around.
Peter Nowak had been fired after making a number of controversial personnel changes and being blamed for taking a playoff level team down to being near the bottom of the MLS. Shortly before news broke that he had been fired in June, it was being reported that Nowak had been looking for a new team to manage. Under Nowak, Hackworth had been the assistant coach. Hackworth has been working as a manager or an assistant manager with various teams since 1993. It seems like the team would have a great shot at an excellent season in 2013. Unfortunately for the Union, Nowak's attorneys recently filed a lawsuit against the Union alleging that he is owed a significant sum of money by the team. The Union have sought to have the lawsuit dismissed and argued that arbitration is the proper way to settle any disputes.
As a fan, I think this was a great move by the Union. Though I wasn't too worried that Hackworth would leave the team, or that the team would find another manager, it is a relief to see that the Union are keeping him on. He is a familiar face to fans and seems to know what he is doing as manager. Hopefully, he will be able to turn the team around in the offseason and the Union will come back better than ever in the 2013 season. If the team can get in a few great games before this season is up, that would be great too. It will be nice to enjoy a season without the level of drama that filled this season and overshadowed games.
Kristin Watt lives in central Pennsylvania and has no local major league sporting teams in the area. She has chosen to adopt Philadelphia's teams, including the Philadelphia Union, as her own home teams. Philadelphia is close enough to make a daytrip out of a game and still not have to get a hotel room.