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Philadelphia signs coach John Hackworth to longer deal

DC United v Philadelphia Union

CHESTER, PA - JUNE 16: Interim head coach John Hackworth of the Philadelphia Union stands on the sideline during a game against DC United at PPL Park on June 16, 2012 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The United won 1-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

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No one paying attention should be surprised by the news out of PPL Park today, where Philadelphia Union officials stripped the “interim” tag off John Hackworth’s managerial reign.

Hackworth, 42, has been signed to a “long-term” deal, according to the club.

He’s a more nurturing sort than Peter Nowak, whose hardliner MO reaped early benefits around Chester – but whose erratic roster management proved to be his undoing.

Hackworth is well-liked around the grounds (so long as your name isn’t Freddy Adu, apparently, as that relationship seems a bit strained). His early record at PPL Park (5-6-2) is already an improvement over the results that Nowak squeezed from the group in 2012; ge was 2-7-2 before a June dismissal. (Which has gone ugly, by the way, with lawsuits and such.)

Hackworth has gotten the improved results by sorting out roles and expectations – and by creating an atmosphere where players aren’t so fearful of mistakes.

The other recent news out of Philly can’t be so comforting for Union fans; they have released forward Jorge Perlaza.

This surely hurts Union fans to their cheesesteaky hearts. Perlaza was acquired in a trade that sent Danny Mwanga and all his potential to Portland earlier this year. Mwanga was the top overall MLS draft pick in 2010.

So, in exchange for the top pick in 2010, the Union effectively received … zilch.

You remember those erratic personnel moves I mentioned before, right?