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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


(Associated Press)
Peter Nowak, who dealt with scant success on the field and a dose of criticism off of it, is out after two-plus seasons as the Union's manager.

The announcement is expected to be made at 2 p.m. Wednesday by Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz, during a press conference at PPL Park.

It's expected assistant coach John Hackworth will step in as the Union's boss in the interim. His nameplate was on the table at PPL Park's media room, signifying he will join Sakiewicz at the 2 p.m. press conference. (My guess is he'll also helm the MLS All-Stars at PPL Park when they face Chelsea next month.)

Guess who else is expected to speak today.
The writing had been on the wall for Nowak's departure for more than a month, with the Union failing to win a match in MLS competition since April 21. The Union (2-7-2) are in a tailspin, having lost four of their last five matches, netting only a draw with FC Dallas in that span while also falling to previously winless Toronto.

Last week, a report in Scotland's Edinburgh Evening News listed Nowak as a candidate for a coaching vacancy with Hearts, a club in the Scottish Premier League. Nowak denied those reports. Hearts has yet to hire a coach.

Nowak was hired as the Union's manager May 29, 2009, a day after resigning his position as an assistant coach with the United States men's national team.

As the executive vice president of soccer operations with the Union, Nowak has overseen all personnel moves with the third-year club. He turned the Union from a cellar-dwelling expansion franchise in 2010 into a team that was in the race to win the Eastern Conference regular-season title in 2011.

The Union went 21-27-23 in Nowak's tenure with the club, reaching their apex of success in 2011, when they qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

In the months that followed the Union's loss to Houston in an Eastern Conference semifinal series, the club underwent one questionable personnel move after another. In a two-day span last offseason, the Union permitted all-star goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon to vacate the final year of his contract and traded all-star striker Sebastien Le Toux. This season, the Union have jettisoned captain Danny Califf and fan favorite Danny Mwanga, the first SuperDraft pick in club history, in trades separated by less than a month.

Pick up Thursday's Daily Times for more on this developing story.

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