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

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Press Conference Extra: More from Hackworth, May 1

The Union face a tough task this weekend of coping with a Seattle Sounders team that has gotten off to a slow start to the season. It's just the latest installment of the lengthy roller coaster that is the MLS season.

Aside from the story, he's the rest of the press conference from John Hackworth.

John Hackworth

On Jeff Parke's meeting with a former team:
"I really don’t have anything but good things to say about Jeff because of the kind of person he is and the kind of professional he has been since the first day he arrived here. Not only that, he’s played very well and brought some leadership and continuity to our backline which up to now in this part of the season has been very good. Jeff’s been a great acquisition for this club. Him being a hometown guy is really important to us in a lot of ways because he totally gets the culture here in Philadephia, the fanbase growing up here. I think that’s a little unique for anybody to understand and he’s certainly very valuble to us and hope that remains the way for a long while to come. ... It won’t be the first time Jeff is in this situation, and once you’ve gone through it, you understand the emotions that come into it. I don’t have any questions that he’ll handle it any way other than the pro that he is."

On the positioning of Sebastien Le Toux:
"Sebastien is a forward for us. He is versatile enough to play in different positions, but he’s certainly a forward for us. Right now, and I’ve said it before, we have a lot of depth. You have Jack McInerney who’s scoring goals and doing very well and that ultimately means that you’re going to have to make some tough decisions. We’re going to have over the stretch of this season many different opportunities and I think you’re going to see Seba shine in those opportunities. I know that he would want to be playing more than he is currently, but having tough choices as a coaching staff is a good thing."

On Zac MacMath's play against New England:
"I did think Zac had a very good game on Saturday night. He kept us in it numerous times otherwise it would’ve been worse. On the flipside, (Bobby) Shuttleworth did that exact same thing for New England. If he doesn’t come up with some really good saves in that first half, we’re probably up 2-0 in that game, so it goes both ways. I’m really happy for Zac because we internally know how good he can be, and it’s just another small step in his continued development that he’s getting better. So that was great to see."

On whether Hackworth sees lineup changes on the horizon:
"I don’t know if it’ll start this weekend because we do have one more day than we had last week, but we certainly have some very tough choices to make going into this Saturday. We’ve had two training sessions where it’s been emphasized that the competition within our team is very close and choices are tough for the staff and that’s a good thing, but you may see some changes on the weekend. When you talk about coming up on the stretch of three games in eight days, I absolutely think that we’re going to have to, and it’s not just the next two weeks that that happens. It kind of goes onto into June with the U.S. Open Cup."

On rumors of Bakary Soumare's departure:
"Nothing that I can comment publicly on at this time. I haven’t read any of those (reports) and I’ve been asked a bunch about it internally, and I have no idea where that’s coming from. We’re actively trying to find a solution for Baky and for the Philadelphia Union. Baky’s been a good professional in every aspect and still available for selection, so as of right now he’s a Philadelphia Union player and he does his job quite well and I have no problem with Baky or the way he is going about his job. I do like our backline, and that means he’s not playing a lot and at the end of the dya, those are – I’ve probably said it too much in this press conference – those are the tough choices. You’re going to have players who aren’t on the field. If we were winning all the games, maybe those questions wouldn’t come up. I understand it, it’s very natural for people to question the selection and the lineups that the coaching staff puts out there, and I take full responsibility for that."

On Danny Cruz staying in the lineup:
"Danny has been one of our more effective players. And in this league, I don’t know what statistics, I think the Opta statistics that everyone can look at, prove that as well. He’s been one of our more effective players in possession. He’s been one of our more creative players in getting entries into the final third or the field, especially the penalty area. He’s got a couple of really good assists. Beside that, he brings it every single game. He’s the type of player that you need to have in this league to be successful. There’s no question that you need some speed, and he brings that, but he brings a competitiveness that’s second to none. I don’t know if there’s some serious questions if Danny Cruz should not be selected, but those are my reasons for selecting him week in and week out."

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