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Hackworth Weekly Presser: March 12, 2014

John Hackworth discusses the draw at Portland and previews the home opener against New England.

Hunter Martin

After a last-minute draw with Portland on Saturday, Coach Hackworth sat down for his weekly press conference at 1:00PM on Wednesday. Here are the highlights.

Hackworth was asked about how the performances of Cristian Maidana and Vincent Nogueira on Saturday. He commented that he thought they did a good job for their first game in MLS, and that they'd want to build on those first performances. "They’re going to be very important to the way we play both positionally and stylistically." Hack also said that the Portland game provided them with a good taste of what playing in MLS is like.

Hack was asked what he thought about the team’s rhythm and chemistry in the Portland game. He responded saying the team had been preparing for the last six weeks to play a certain style, and that they looked good. He thought they looked clearly like a team on the same page and that the game "wasn’t perfect, but it was a good starting point."

Hackworth commented that Jack McInerney’s goal in Portland was a big one for him and that it’s important to get his confidence up early. He said the team needed him to be off on the right foot.

On the injury front, Coach Hack said Connor "Big Country" Casey is back in training this week and will hopefully be available for Saturday. Sheanon Williams, on the other hand, is not yet back in training, but the coaching staff is "optimistic he’ll be back sooner rather than later."

When asked about New England’s (Saturday’s opponent) loss in Houston over the weekend, Hack said it was "not reflective of the New England that we know." He said that Houston is a tough place to play and that New England will be motivated to prove that the Houston match was a fluke. He anticipates that two "very attack-oriented" teams will meet on Saturday.

Talking about Saturday’s game, Hack praised the fans for the energy and anticipation around the first game. He said the atmosphere in PPL is always fantastic and that it’s definitely a selling point when they are trying to recruit a player to come to the Union. When asked about the PPL first-timers on the team, Hack said that all their experience as players would have them ready for the game and he didn’t need to give any particular pep talk to the team about playing in the home opener.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Hackworth has "no idea about this whole mascot thing."