A loss in rainy Seattle cannot deter John Hackworth from feeling good about his team's performance. As John was fashionably late this week by a few minutes, having to consult a thesaurus to find a different way to say "baffled" or a different way to phrase "the tide will turn". He opened up the floor for questions to discuss a variety of issues.
Faith, Trust, Sparkles, and Rainbows
The Philadelphia Union manager looked as calm as he ever has, confident after his team's performance against Seattle, most notably Zac MacMath. His young goalkeeper was praised for his consistency and evolution as a net minder given the criticisms he's faced in his career. He wishes his team would feed off of Zac's form and turn in a few positive results.
John reflected a question about pressure on his team to produce results and believes (still) that good results will come. The manager has a good feeling about the way his team is playing and the preparation of his players is also top notch. Hackworth said that he has a team that he trusts and the staff holds out hope that results will come of it. As if he were the builder of the Titanic, John Hackworth continued his rhetoric about results in assuring the press that staying the course was the best option and to trust in the process.
He wasn't done there.
When asked about the summer transfer window as a place to improve the team, John stalled at the idea of adding a player. His short answer, and I mean short, was yes. As he continued, however, he again stated his belief in the players he had and said it was not time to hit the infamous panic button and bring in someone else.
Red, White, and Maurice Edu
To avoid talking about the issues with his team, Hackworth seized hold of the first Maurice Edu question about the World Cup and ran with it. Talking at length about his chances to wiggle his way onto Jurgen Klinsmann's 23 man roster, the manager lauded his midfield juggernaut. He admitted his staff anticipated when they signed Edu that they would be without Maurice for some time and would negotiate a way to keep him playing for the Union as long as possible before sending him to Palo Alto. Hackworth felt positive Maurice would be called into the squad and had talked to some of the US National Team staff to gauge his performances. He thinks the staff is pleased with not only Maurice Edu's play for Philadelphia, but also is pleased, while tooting his own horn, the play of the Philadelphia Union. It was kind of presumptuous if you ask me coming from the manager of a team who's gotten 8 points in 10 games.
For the World Heavyweight Championship...
It's been a tough run of for down on his luck center back contender in Austin Berry. The once rookie of the year stalwart for Chicago has come to Philadelphia to be benched for unlikely champion who can do no wrong in Aaron Wheeler. When asked about Berry's status, John Hackworth conceded that nothing was wrong with Austin and that it was in fact Wheeler's performance that had kept him in the starting XI.
The press conference took a quick break as a physician came to the podium and performed a routine mental stability check on the manager and concluded that he was in fact sane.
After doctor's visit, Hackworth continued by saying that Berry cannot do anything to force his way back into the lineup and that with Wheeler's mishaps in recent weeks that he was certainly considering putting Wheeler on the bench in favor of Berry. Hack's comments on Wheeler's performance was a mix of applaud and critique. Admitting that Wheeler had a few moments where they both wished he could have back, he suggested Wheeler was playing in good form given the circumstances. Overall, he called Aaron's time at center back so far "a good learning experience".
Take that however you wish.
A Visit from Our Nations' Capital
With a matchup against an improved DC United side on the horizon, John Hackworth said the team's focus was solely on this match and wasn't too mindful of the tough stretch of games ahead. He believed Eddie Johnson will play Saturday, and compared the forward play of DC's to Seattle's forward play. The quality from each club is definitely there and Hackworth voiced his concern over United's front four.
The scenario of the game was another factor, said Johnny. He noted that Ben Olsen's side was disappointed last week to not steal points on the road in Portland and would bring a motivated performance to the confines of PPL Park. He mentioned that DC and Philadelphia's style of play was similar, but being at home would bring out a good performance in his players saying that they owed it to the fans.
- Zack Pfeffer (Who? Oh that talented youth player rotting on our bench?) was talked about! Pfeffer was suggested as a replacement for Edu during his potential World Cup voyage and was considered by Hackworth as a possibility. But Hackworth warned that Zach would need to improve his place on the roster to making the 18 more often. Also he was concerned about his age being a factor while throwing him into the situation of the season.
- Hackworth ignored the upcoming schedule having an effect on his substitution and line up selection, commenting that the coaching staff is always reconsidering line ups and subs based on tactical decisions.
- INJURY REPORT: Danny Cruz ran too hard at practice this week, sustaining a minor injury to his foot. Hackworth praised his hustle. And GRANDPA FRED IS BACK!!! He's finally finished telling you which granddaughter of his got into nursing school and he's ready to go as long as the game isn't past his bedtime.