Photo: Nate Monahan
Read PSP’s report on the Nowak ouster, Hackworth’s comments at Wednesday’s press conference, and our postmortem on Nowak’s tenure. Also available, the Philly Soccer Show podcast on the departure of Nowak.
John Smallwood echos the thoughts of many Union fans when he wonders why the “philosophical differences” that Nick Sakiewicz said were at the root of Nowak’s split from the club arose after the former manager had already “gutted a popular playoff team” through trades. He then takes Sakiewicz’s suggestion that it is up to the media to speculate about the underlying reasons for the break. After reviewing several possible contributing factors, Smallwood concludes, “Let me, primarily, speculate that Nowak was simply too stubborn, arrogant or set in his ways to consider that anyone besides himself could possibly have any idea of how to develop, operate and manage a team.”
Kerith Gabriel writes that Nowak’s applying for the Hearts job “appeared to be the final straw,” while Marc Narducci says Nick Sakiewicz and the rest of the owners were fed up with Nowak’s “antics.” Jack McCaffery says now was the right time for Nowak to go.
Dave Zeitlin reports that at the press conference that Sakiewicz, “tapping the Union crest on his jacket, right above his heart,” said, “This badge will always come first.”
Sakiewicz expressed confidence in interim manager John Hackworth. “He has coached at the very highest international level as well as the club level, and as a former player himself, he knows the ropes. I have no doubt that we’re going to continue the momentum with the team on the field and just get better as the season goes. There’s a tremendous amount of soccer left to be played.”
An article on the Union website confirms, “Sporting director Diego Gutierrez, goalkeeper coach Rob Vartughian and reserve team coach Brendan Burke will remain in their current capacities with the club.” In case you are wondering, Alecko Eskandarian is still listed on the technical staff page on the Union website.
Chris Vito’s Union Tally has a full transcript of Wednesday’s press conference.
More local reports and reaction from the Delco Times, Union Tally, CSN Philly, The 700 Level, CBS Philly, the Patriot News, Philly Soccer News, the Brotherly Game, Philly Union Talk, and Union City Blue
Here’s how 6abc reported the story.
MLSsoccer.com notes that Nowak’s record with the Union puts him at No. 4 on the list of expansion team coaches.
Dave Zeitlin compiles a chronological listing of Peter Nowak’s highs and lows over his time at the Union.
ProSoccerTalk throws Richie Williams’ name into the ring as a possible replacement for Nowak.
So who’s going to coach the MLS All-Stars now that Nowak is gone? Nelson Rodriguez, MLS executive vice president of competition and game operations, said, “As we only just became aware of the Philadelphia Union coaching change, we will take the appropriate time to consider who should lead the MLS All-Stars against UEFA Champions Chelsea FC on July 25 at PPL Park.”
In a poll at the league website, Eric Wynalda leads as the choice to coach the All-Star team.
Turning to Saturday’s return to league action, Black and Red United looks at the possible DC United lineup. You may want to let them know that the Union’s loss to Harrisburg City Islanders was a friendly, not a US Open Cup game. For now, anyway.
The latest YSA Report is available.
Reading United remain in first place in the PDL’s Mid Atlantic Division with a 6–0–1 record after defeating New Jersey Rangers 2–0 on Wednesday night with goals from Deshorn Brown and Pedro Ribeiro.
The Patriot News talks to Harrisburg City Islanders goalkeeper Brian Holt, a former teammate of the Union’s Greg Jordan at Creighton.
Upper 90 talks to recent City Islanders forward Lucky Mkosana. Mkosana scored in the win over New York Red Bulls.
Leading Seattle Sounders goalscorer David Estrada is out for 12 weeks after breaking his left foot during practice on Tuesday.
Vancouver Whitecaps’ Omar Salgado recently broke his right foot with the US U-20s in Uruguay. The injury will see him out of action for 2 to 4 months.
San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch has been given a one-game suspension for “aggressively retrieving a ball” against Sporting Kansas City in the Earthquake’s 2-1 loss on May 27.
It appears the USMNT caused a flap when they failed to greet US soldiers based in Guatemala who had gathered to greet them when they landed before Tuesday’s World Cup qualifiers. After friends and family of the soldiers voiced their disgust on Facebook, a US Soccer spokesperson said the snub was unintentional, “The players and staff were simply unsure of the correct protocol in terms of engaging the military members on arrival to Guatemala … [the players] weren’t sure if they were welcoming them or providing security.”
Brian Strauss says patience is needed for Jurgen Klinsmann to see out his transformation of the USMNT.
Soccer America rounds up its USMNT player ratings over the past five games to present an overall average for each player. Michael Bradley tops the list.
ProSoccerTalk chats with USWNT outside back Kelley O’Hara.
Today’s Euro 2012 group play starts at noon with Italy vs Croatia, followed by Spain vs Ireland at 2:45 (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, ESPN Radio).
Danish fans chanted “Messi” every time Cristiano Ronaldo touched the ball in yesterday’s group stage match between Portugal and Denmark at the Euros. Ronaldo said after the match, “You know where he was at this time [last year]? Do you know? He was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country. I think that’s worse, no?” Big baby. And he’s wrong, Argentina weren’t out of the Copa until the quarterfinals when they lost to eventual winners Uruguay.
Russia was fined $150,000 by UEFA as a result of the fan violence surrounding Tuesday’s match against Poland and could face a six point deduction in its qualification group for the next European Championship.
Viewership of the Euros on ESPN is three times higher than in 2008.
US Soccer Players looks at tactics and strategy at the Euros.
BSkyB (partially owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox Soccer) and BT have won the rights to broadcast the Premiership in Britain over the next three years. It’ll cost them a record £3 billion ($4.7 billion), a 71 percent increase over the last contract. ESPN has been frozen out of the market by the new deal.
Harry Redknapp has been fired by Tottenham, who have apparently set their sights on Everton’s David Moyes and not Peter Nowak.