Hackworth's Union had won just three of their first 16 games this season (©GettyImages)
Hackworth's Union had won just three of their first 16 games this season (©GettyImages).

Philadelphia Union sack manager John Hackworth

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Philadelphia Union have sacked manager John Hackworth, ending his four-year association with the club.

The 44-year-old will be replaced by his assistant Jim Curtin on an interim basis.

This announcement comes despite a 3-3 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday that saw the Union move up to eighth in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia had turned a two-goal deficit around to lead 3-2, but a late Pedro Morales penalty levelled the scores.

It was the club's sixth stalemate of the season, and a record of just three wins from 16 games was enough to see the former Carolina Dynamo man dismissed.

Hackworth originally joined the Union as a coach and youth development coordinator under Peter Nowak's charge in 2010, before taking on the head coach role two years later. He had previously been working as an assistant coach with the United States national team.

Despite leading the side to the US Open Cup semi-finals in his first campaign, Philadelphia have consistently failed to make the play-offs under his tenure.

Hackworth's overall record stood at 23 wins, 20 draws and 30 defeats.

In a club statement, chief executive Nick Sakiewicz explained the reasoning behind the decision to relieve the Floridian of his duties:

"We are a very ambitious club and although we are just in our fifth season we expect to win and be in the top tier of MLS."

He did, however, place on record his thanks to the departing coach:

"We appreciate the work, time and efforts John Hackworth put into building the club and his influence on our growing youth academy. He is a first class person and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Sakiewicz also revealed what the club will be looking for in their next appointment:

"Today we will begin a serious global search for a team manager who will help guide us to our goal of competing to win the MLS Cup.

"Philadelphia is a major market and we expect that there will be significant interest from a wide variety of qualified candidates to become Philadelphia Union’s team manager."

The news will be greeted with relief by some Union fans, who'd chanted "Fire Hackworth" following last month's home loss to DC United.

His replacement Curtin played in the MLS for the Chicago Fire and Chivas USA, retiring four years ago following a two-year spell with the Goats.

The 34-year-old will now take charge of Philadelphia's cup clash with the Harrisburg City Islanders at PPL Park next week.

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