No respect for Philadelphia Union
With the Flyers’ firing of Peter Laviolette on Monday, the longest-tenured coach in Philadelphia immediately became the Eagles’ Chip Kelly … Hey, wait a minute? What about John Hackworth?
Various media outlets falsely reported Monday that Kelly, not the Union’s Hackworth, had been coaching the longest in Philadelphia. Hackworth had much to say about being slighted, but not for the reasons you’d expect.
“For me, personally, it doesn’t really matter [being slighted] because I’m only in my second year,” said Hackworth. “But, in the aspect of our sport and specifically our organization, not getting recognized in the Philadelphia sports world as a major professional sport blows my mind. It pisses me off. I don’t agree with it and I think we deserve a lot more than that.”
The Union (12-10-9) sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference in a tight playoff race. For a city that usually worships winners, Hackworth is having some trouble feeling the love.
“We’re not going to be on the same level as the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies or Sixers, that’s understood,” he said. “But, as you look at how much soccer has grown over the past few years in this country, I think it’s time that we start getting a little credit. When you come down to a game at PPL, it’s sold out. At the very minimum, I think we deserve a little bit more traffic from our hometown for sure.”
The Union head to D.C. this weekend to face D.C. United (3-22-6). Just because United has a poor record this season, doesn’t mean the Union’s rivals won’t be trying to spoil the teams’ playoff hopes Saturday.
“It’s a rivalry game for us, but at the same time they’re standing in the way of us reaching our goal of making the playoffs,” said Hackworth. “That’s what we’re focused on. No matter what, we need to go into D.C. and come away with points.”