CHESTER, PA - JUNE 27: Head coach Peter Nowak of the Philadelphia Union sits during team introductions before a game against the Seattle Sounders FC at the PPL Park stadium opener on June 27, 2010 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
A three loss start to the 2012 Major League Soccer regular season was not lost on Philadelphia Union fans last week and they made themselves heard through boos directed toward head coach Peter Nowak prior to the start of last week's scoreless draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Union's front office has recognized the importance of results as well, a source with knowledge of internal discussions told the Brotherly Game.
"Nick [Sakiewicz] has said his job security comes down to wins and losses," the source said to the Brotherly Game. "I got the impression it's Nowaks team to manage as he sees fit but will be ultimately accountable for his record."
The perception among Philadelphia fans had been that Nowak is untouchable for the time being and that the front office cares more about revenue streams that results on the field.
The team's 2-1 home opener loss was the third most profitable game (ticket sales, merchandise sales, food sales, parking) in the Union's history behind last year's LA Galaxy home game and the franchise's first ever home playoff game, a source informed the Brotherly Game.
Criticism from fans and analysts has emerged following the worst start to the season in the three-year franchise's history. Boos have rained down upon certain members of the team and coaching staff during the poor run of form that the Union have displayed thus far in this young season.
Last year the Union started off the season as one of the hottest teams in MLS, winning five of their first 10 games and taking a total of 17 points during that early period of time. This season the Union have taken only one point from their first four games and don't play for the next two weeks.
"This is more time right now to not only to refresh the memory and the battery as well," Nowak said at yesterday's press conference, "but also to [escape] the pressure and games."