Philadelphia Union assistant coach John Hackworth is the featured guest on KYW’s Philly Soccer Show this week.
Hackworth isn’t your average assistant coach. He’s one of the best talent evaluators in American soccer, having worked with the national team’s youth programs and set up the Union’s youth pipeline with the Harrisburg City Islanders. He’s also the clear No. 2 to Union manager Peter Nowak, taking a more visible role with the media and sometimes running the team from the sideline while Nowak takes the bird’s eye view high above the field.
In the podcast recorded Monday night, Hackworth talked extensively with hosts Greg Orlandini and Dan Walsh about the Union’s season and their offseason prospects. A few key things came out of the interview, including:
- Danny Mwanga will be exempt from the expansion draft, which frees up an additional slot to protect another player from being drafted by Vancouver or Portland;
- Hackworth talks about the Union’s youth programs and the successful partnership with Harrisburg that produced the Union’s starting right back;
- The club’s approach to the expansion draft;
- Plans for signing a veteran goalkeeper for next season;
- The unique relationship between Hackworth and Union manager Peter Nowak;
- The team’s needs for next season.
It was such a good interview that Greg and Dan basically talked about the same things the rest of the show — but then again, with this being the first show after the end of the regular season, there was a lot to cover.