The Union announced on Tuesday that manager John Hackworth has been fired. Union assistant coach Jim Curtin will take over as the interim team manager in his place.
After having a relatively successful 2012-13 campaign finishing 12-12-10 and just three points away from a playoff spot, the Union (3-7-6) have been a large disappointment in 2013-14 where they currently sit in eighth place in the Eastern Division.
In a 1-0 loss at home to D.C. United on May 10th, fans of the Union started a “fire Hackworth” chant to voice their disapproval toward the manager. Union ownership will now conduct the interview process for a new coach.
“We are an ambitious club and although we are just in our fifth season we expect to win and be in the top tier of MLS,” said Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz in a statement on the team’s website. “We have begun an ambitious and global search for a team manager who will help guide us to our goal of competing to win the MLS Cup.”
Hackworth was first introduced as team manager on June 13, 2012, on an interim basis. He amassed a 23-30-20 record during that time.
Curtin, a native of Oreland, Pennsylvania, was hired in November of 2012 to serve as an assistant coach for the first team. He played more than 200 games for the Chicago Fire where he was named an MLS All-Star and the Fire’s defender of the year in 2004. He helped the squad to two U.S. Open Cup titles in 2003 and 2006, as well as the 2003 MLS Supporters Shield.
“Philadelphia is a major market and we expect that there will be significant interest from a wide variety of qualified candidates to become Philadelphia Union’s team manager,” said Sakiewicz. “We appreciate the work, time and efforts John Hackworth put into building the club.”
Curtin’s first game as interim team manager will be Tuesday, June 17 when the Union host the Harrisburg City Islanders in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup at PPL Park.