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John Hackworth named U.S. U17 head coach

The former Philadelphia Union boss has climbed the coaching ladder back to the U17 position he held with U.S. Soccer from 2004-2007.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth has been named the head coach of the United States U17 team, a position he held from 2004-2007.

Hackworth has coached the U15 team since November 2014, leading them to a European trophy in May when they won the 12th Tournament delle Nazioni in Italy. He coached a U17 team to a 1-2 record in the Nike International Friendlies earlier this month with players (Union Academy goalkeeper Carlos dos Santos and defender Rayshaun McGann were among them) who will be eligible for the next U17 World Cup cycle in 2017.

The Dunedin, Florida native was an assistant with the U17s in 2002-2004 and an assistant on the senior national team in 2007-2009 before joining the Union as an assistant in 2010 and taking over for Petr Novak as head coach in 2012. He was relieved of his head coaching duties in June 2014.

He has also managed the Wake Forest women's team (1992), served as an assistant for the Wake Forest men's team (1993-1997) and managed South Florida (1998-2001).

The U17 team is a key age group in the U.S. development system since it includes the Bradenton, Florida-based Residency Program.

The residency program was launched in 1999 with founding players Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman and Oguchi Onyewu in the mix. Some 30 players have gone on from the program to play for the national team, including recent U.S. Soccer Player of the Year and team captain Michael Bradley.

The U17 team qualified for the last World Cup held in Chile in October but failed to advance out of the group stages after a 2-2 draw with Croatia and losses to Nigeria and Chile.