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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

John Hackworth may be mad about not being the longest-tenured coach in Philly. Or not

John Hackworth sent a few mixed signals at Wednesday's press conference, and that's not even to mention the intentional misdirection on who will occupy the spots on the Union backline in the absence of Fabinho and Sheanon Williams.

The presser opened with Hackworth being introduced as the longest-tenured pro sports coach in Philadelphia, that mantle having been vacated by the Flyers firing of Peter Laviolette Tuesday.

Hackworth opened by saying that reports positing Chip Kelly, hired in January as the Eagles coach, as the longest tenured pro coach in Philadelphia didn't much matter. He added that it didn't bother him on an individual level, but was more an insult to MLS.

"The first answer is that I think that it doesn’t matter at all," Hackworth said.
"It’s completely irrelevant, especially with how long it’s been. It hasn’t been very long. The second answer is that it does piss me off, to be very clear. But it’s not about me. I think it’s incredible that in this day and age, in the world we live in, with how popular our sport is, that in a city that says that it is such a sports town to say that, eh, it doesn’t count as one of the top professional sports, I think that’s crazy."

The implications for defender Amobi Okugo were clear.

"It’s crazy. Soccer’s still growing," he said. "Maybe if we make the playoffs and the other teams stay on their downward spiral like they have been maybe we’ll get more recognition. I’m not wishing bad on the other teams but if we make the playoffs and do make a little run, it might get us a little more recognition. But in the meantime, we’ve been like the little stepbrother that no one cares about. Philly loves winners. If we win, we’ll start getting some more recognition."

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