Unlike most of his college teammates, Philadelphia Union Academy graduate Morgan Hackworth has a last name that is already well known in the soccer world.
The Syracuse sophomore is the son of United States U17 head coach John Hackworth, who was the head coach of the Philadelphia Union during his Academy days.
“I’m always just looking to make sure it remains a good name in soccer,” Morgan said in an interview in March when asked about his dad. “It’s nice to have him as a coach as well as a father. I can always get his input.”
Hackworth has a lot of company in college soccer of players who understand what it’s like being related to a well-known athlete or coach, particularly with this season’s recruiting class.
Fellow Union Academy graduate Jerren “JJ” Nixon Jr. shares his first and last name with a Trinidad & Tobago great, his father Jerren Nixon, who scored 11 international goals in 38 appearances for the T&T team from 1993-2004.
Nixon Jr., a target forward, is a freshman at Virginia who didn’t waste any time finding the back of the net, scoring a goal in his first exhibition match with the Cavaliers over the weekend.
Looking through the rosters of Virginia rivals Boston College and Wake Forest, you’ll find some other familiar names in international soccer.
Boston College freshman midfielder Lewis Mustoe is the son of former Premier League midfielder Robbie Mustoe, who fans of the league will recognize for his commentating duties on NBC Sports. Robbie made nearly 500 appearances in the English top flight. His son starred at Lexington High School in Massachusetts.
Wake Forest has two sons of former internationals who played in the World Cup in John Harkes’ son Ian Harkes, a senior midfielder and junior forward Jon Bakero, whose father Jose Mari played for Spain in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. John Harkes, the head coach of first-year USL club FC Cincinnati, played for the U.S. in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, has a freshman whose older sister has made a name for herself in women’s soccer.
Senan Farrelly, a defender from Haverford who played locally for Continental FC Delco, is the younger brother of Sinead Farrelly, who was a member of the short-lived pro team Philadelphia Independence and now patrols the midfield for the Boston Breakers.
Penn State first-year goalkeeper Arie Ammann is following has followed his father’s footsteps into college. Mike Ammann was a goalkeeper for Charlton Athletic FC in England in the mid-’90s and played six seasons in Major League Soccer for the Wizards, MetroStars and D.C. United.
While he doesn’t share his last name, West Virginia senior midfielder Mike Desiderio is the grandson of U.S. soccer legend Walt Bahr. Bahr was the captain of the U.S. team that famously defeated England in the 1950 World Cup and went on to coach at Temple and Penn State. Desiderio grew up locally in Media and spent time in the Union Academy.
World Cup winner (with West Germany in 1990) and current USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is the proud father of second-year Cal goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann.
A few NFL players, past and present, also have ties to college soccer.
Current NFL quarterback Andrew Luck - a big soccer fan himself - has a brother, Addison Luck, who will be playing in the Ivy League this season for Yale. The younger Luck has already made a name for himself in the sport, being named the Gatorade State Soccer Player of the Year for West Virginia for his performance in high school last year. Their father, Oliver Luck, is a former NFL quarterback who played for the Houston Oilers for five seasons and is currently an NCAA executive.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Jr. is the father of DePaul freshman forward/midfielder Peyton Smith, who starred for youth club Charlotte United in his native North Carolina.
Florida Gulf Coast freshman defender TC Anderson also has the NFL in his blood through his father Neal Anderson, a four-time Pro Bowl running back for the Chicago Bears who played from 1986 to 1993.
The college soccer season kicks off at the end of the month. For Hackworth, that means a chance to earn more minutes after a rookie season where he mostly watched from the sidelines as his team made a run to the College Cup.
“I’m always just looking to impress him,” Hackworth said.