Photo: Earl Gardner
Philadelphia Union have cut ties with scouting chief Diego Gutierrez and youth director Alecko Eskandarian.
A team spokesperson confirmed Sunday that Gutierrez and Eskandarian are no longer with the team but declined to give further details. Biographies of both men have been removed from the team web site.
Union manager John Hackworth is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Brendan Burke, the Union’s reserve team coach, will take a more prominent role with the Union as an assistant coach, the spokesperson said. Burke also serves as the head coach of Reading United, the Union’s PDL affiliate.
Gutierrez had played a significant role behind the scenes since joining the Union in December 2010. As player personnel director, he was responsible for creating the club’s pipeline to Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama that led to signings of Carlos Valdes, Lionard Pajoy, Gabriel Gomez, Josue Martinez, and Porfirio Lopz, as well as Gutierrez’s former Chicago Fire teammate, Bakary Soumare.
Gutierrez, a former Chicago Fire defender, had become a player agent after retiring from professional soccer in 2008. He used the contacts acquired in that role and transitioned to a position as the Union’s key player personnel executive.
Previously, Gutierrez had been a teammate of former Union manager Peter Nowak, who brought Gutierrez in after the club’s first season. Nowak was fired as Union manager in June.
Eskandarian also had ties to Nowak prior to joining the Union staff in June 2011 as youth technical director, having played for Nowak with D.C. United. He was forced to retire in 2009 at age 27 due to concussions.
Since being named interim team manager, Hackworth has led the team to a 1-2-0 record in league play, as well as a quarterfinal win in the U.S. Open Cup.