After collecting just three victories in their first 16 matches of the season, the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday sacked manager John Hackworth.
Current Union assistant coach and former MLS player Jim Curtin takes over for Hackworth as interim team manager.
"We are a very ambitious club and although we are just in our fifth season we expect to win and be in the top tier of MLS,” Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz said in a club statement. “Today we will begin a serious global search for a team manager who will help guide us to our goal of competing to win the MLS Cup. 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."
On May 15 Sakiewicz gave Hackworth a vote of confidence just days after fans at PPL Park chanted "Fire Hackworth" following a home loss against D.C. United: "We stand behind John Hackworth ... We are working every day with the resources available to us and are confident that with some additional key players this group can become the team we envision it to be,” Sakiewicz said at the time.
The Union then proceeded to register a 1-2-1 record over their next four matches, conceding 12 goals in the process.
Although Philadelphia sits only three points out of a playoff spot, the team's points-per-game total (0.94), is third lowest in the league. The team's home record at PPL Park is 1-2-4 (7 pts. from a possible 21).
"Our great fans, partners and community deserve a winning team and we will doing everything in our power to win," Sakiewicz stated in Tuesday's club statement. "We appreciate the work, time and efforts John Hackworth put into building the club and his influence on our growing youth academy. He is a first class person and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Hackworth posted a 23-30-20 all-time MLS record since taking over for Peter Nowak on June 13, 2012. He led the Union to a club-best 12 wins in 2013.
Curtin’s first match as interim manager will be a US Open Cup fourth-round match on Tuesday, June 17, vs. the Harrisburg City Islanders at PPL Park.