Union make Hackworth team manager on permanent basis
John Hackworth will be back at the helm of the Philadelphia Union next year.
The club on Thursday announced that it has removed the "interim" tag and named him as the permanent manager "with immediate effect," providing him with a long-term contract at the club.
“We have a very talented and committed group of players in our locker room and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to continue working with them long term as they and the organization continue to develop," Hackworth said in a club statement.
WATCH: Hackworth after loss to Crew
The 42-year-old had been the interim head coach ever since the Union parted ways with Peter Nowak on June 13. He was promoted to the position after serving as Nowak's assistant coach since 2009.
The announcement came nearly 24 hours after the Union suffered a last-minute 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew, a defeat which led Hackworth to make this statement about the club's playoff hopes: "I don’t think it’s a possibility anymore. And I think we should stop talking about it, personally.”
It also came just 24 hours after the Portland Timbers announced that Caleb Porter would take over the managerial reins of the Cascadia club beginning in 2013.
Hackworth has led the club to a 5-6-2 record after the Union started out 2012 with seven losses in their first 11 matches. Philadelphia also reached the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, where they lost to Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park.
“John deserves to become our permanent team manager," said Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz in the club statement. "His skilled leadership has reinvigorated our players in recent months and there are some very promising signs that we are moving towards a style of soccer that is in keeping with our respected Union brand.
"The principal reason for making this move right now is because John has a plan to move our team forward and toward the upper reaches of Major League Soccer. That stability is important to our whole organization as we look to finish this season strongly and build again for the next.
Before joining the Union, Hackworth served as head coach of the US Under-17 national team after a successful stint as college head coach at the University of South Florida. He later became an assistant to USMNT manager Bob Bradley in addition to the technical director at the US Soccer Federation.