Nick Sakiewicz is blaming the players for the Union’s disappointing season, but who selected the players if not him?

By Mary Cunningham

Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz stated Tuesday that the dismissal of manager John Hackworth was due to his inability to get results — or, more specifically, to successfully exhort his players to manufacture wins, capped by a disappointing 3-3 draw with Vancouver at PPL Park Saturday.

Interim coach Jim Curtin reiterated Thursday a belief that the club has all the pieces, on the field and behind the scenes, to assemble a winner. Echoing Sakiewicz, that approach posited that the missing piece was getting more from the players who underachieved under Hackworth.

“This time, it’s 80 percent on the players,” Sakiewicz said, referencing the culpability for Hackworth’s firing. “Now, coaches are always responsible, but it goes back to a word that Jim used, which is accountability. And in this business, you’ve got to take accountability as a player. … You need to look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, my bad,’ if it’s your bad. And that honesty I think is really important to Jim. It’s definitely important to me. And the players need to be accountable for the situation that we’re in in the table. And they also need to be accountable for getting us out of it.”

Curtin had no interest in delving into the specifics of his plans, in terms of tactics and selection. He said he’s contacted every player, even though the squad has been away all week on a previously-scheduled period off coinciding with the start of the league-wide sabbatical for the World Cup. They’ll resume training Monday ahead of a date with Harrisburg City in the U.S. Open Cup Tuesday at PPL Park, a competition both Curtin and Sakiewicz pledged the club is approaching with the utmost degree of seriousness.

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