Peter Nowak has paid the price for the Philadelphia Union’s horrible start to the season as the Union have announced that have gotten rid of the only head coach in the club’s three seasons in MLS. Assistant coach John Hackworth, who served as Nowak’s right-hand man will take over as the interim head coach, effective immediately.
Under Nowak’s guidance Philadelphia began play in MLS in 2010 and last season, in their second year, Nowak led the Union to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. They bowed out to the eventual MLS Cup runners-up Houston Dynamo in the conference semifinals, but it appeared that the Union’s mixture of veterans and promising youngsters meant big things on the horizon in Philadelphia.
Things started to go wrong for Philadelphia in the offseason when veteran goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón decided to return to his native Colombia, and then striker Sébastien Le Toux was traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps in January after publicly criticizing Nowak.
As of those holes were not had enough to fill, Nowak and defender Danny Califf were at odds over a supposed injury kept the veteran off the roster for a period this spring, and Califf was subsequently traded to Chivas USA in May.
Throw in the trade of first-ever draft pick Danny Mwanga to Portland earlier this month and it has been an revolving door at the Union. Unfortunately for Philadelphia fans, the players who have left have been quality players, and the replacements brought in have not been as good.
The Union are 10 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern conference and return to action from the international break at home against local rivals D.C. United on Saturday.