FARFAN MAKES MLS ALL-STAR TEAM, NOWAK SUES UNION + ALL-STAR EXTRAS
Here's a quick recap of what went down:
- Michael Farfan made the MLS All-Star team's gameday roster, becoming the league's youngest selection and the Union's second representative (joining Carlos Valdes).
- Oh, and ex-Union boss Peter Nowak sued his former club.
Yeah, about that.
Nowak has filed a lawsuit against the Union, citing wrongful termination while also seeking severance money he claims he's owed. According to his attorney, Nowak is owed “in the ballpark of $1 million.”
The story was first reported by philly.com's Jonathan Tannenwald.
There are a couple variables here: First Nowak contends his dismissal was without cause and without notice. Nowak's attorney, Clifford E. Haines, Esq., told the Daily Times that Nowak's contract did not allow for termination based on wins and losses, which was “not under the terms of this contract,” he said. At the time of Nowak's dismissal, the Union sat in ninth place in the Eastern Conference table.
Second, Nowak's lawsuit papers say he was unwilling to meet the Union's demands: To either sign a separation agreement, by which Nowak would agree to be dismissed by the club while also retaining his salary through this calendar year, or refuse to sign the agreement and receive no severance package.
“The team disputes the allegations in the complaint and will vigorously defend against the lawsuit,” Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz told the Daily Times. The Union said they will issue no further statements regarding Nowak's suit.
The interesting thing here is that Nowak's case is harmed by one of the documents he submitted as evidence. Nowak's attorney filed a letter sent to Nowak by Pennsylvania Professional Soccer LLC, a branch of the ownership group that owns the Union – Keystone Sports and Entertainment. Within the letter dated June 13, the date of Nowak's dismissal, the Union offer a number of explanations regarding Nowak's termination. Among them: Hazing of players, preventing his players from contacting the MLS players' union, insubordination with Union CEO Sakiewicz, suspensions and fines accrued as a result of on-field behavior, requiring injured players to train with the club, and seeking employment elsewhere. While still employed by the Union, Nowak reportedly applied for a vacant coaching position with Hearts, of the Scottish Premier League.
“They (the Union) have listed other things that Peter has alleged to do,” Haines said. “And even if he did them, we do not believe they're enough to justify his firing.”
Doesn't sound like a resolution will be reached any time soon. So stay tuned.
Anyway, back to the All-Star Game. Here are a few videos from Tuesday's training at PPL Park, with Union interim manager John Hackworth (also the MLS All-Stars' assistant coach) and Farfan discussing Farfan's selection to the team: