John Hackworth Named Assistant Coach of U.S. Men's National Team
CHICAGO (October 24, 2007) — Longtime U.S. Soccer Youth National Team coach John Hackworth has been named as an assistant coach to Bob Bradley and the U.S. Men’s National Team. The move comes one month before the USA’s final game of 2007 on Nov. 17 against South Africa in Johannesberg (live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision at 9 a.m. ET), and seven months before the team’s road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup officially begins next June.
“John is a great addition to our coaching staff,” said Bradley. “He’s had a tremendous amount of success helping to create a framework for the player development initiatives within all of our national teams, and now that vision is being executed within the Development Academy. Having him on our staff, while also working directly with the technical aspects of the Academy program, is going to help us forge a very strong connection between those youth clubs all the way through the elite national team level.”
In addition to joining Bob Bradley’s national team staff, Hackworth will also serve as the Development Academy Director in U.S. Soccer’s new player development initiative that launched earlier this year. The program which launched this fall is designed to improve the environment for elite players throughout the country, in many ways emulating the successful U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., which Hackworth has been a part of since 2002.
“Joining Bob Bradley’s staff as that team gets focused on World Cup qualifying in 2008 is a great next step as a coach,” said Hackworth. “I’ve known Bob for many years and we have a great connection in terms of how we see the game, both technically on the field and in the ways you can help prepare a team off the field. I’m greatly looking forward to being a part of his staff on the road to South Africa.”
In his additional role with the Development Academy, Hackworth will be the primary liaison to Academy clubs on all technical issues. That duty will include a focus on ensuring technical compliance within each of the 64 clubs in the system, as well as communicating policy decisions, training guidelines and, ultimately, connecting the clubs to the National Team program.
“It has been very rewarding for me to see the Development Academy take shape over the past eighteen months,” said Hackworth. “The program provides the elite player with the proper environment for their development. In the past month, we have already identified a number of players for the National Team program and we expect that the opportunity for players to train more and play in a highly competitive environment will pay dividends in the future.”
The Development Academy was created to provide players with the best possible opportunity to develop and was initiated by U.S. Soccer after a comprehensive review of player development systems in the United States and around the world.
Hackworth took over the reins of the U-17 National Team in November of 2004, after joining U.S. Soccer in early 2002 and serving as an assistant under John Ellinger for more than two years. As a head coach, he led the team through two FIFA Under-17 World Cup cycles, twice advancing the team into the tournament’s second round.
In 2005 in Peru, Hackworth’s squad took the top spot in their group to advance to the quarterfinals and eventually finish in fifth place. Two years later in a newly-expanded 24-team World Cup, the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16 with a second-place group finish before falling to Germany.
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team is the only team in the world to have qualified for every World Cup at that age level, earning one fourth-place and two fifth-place finishes in five World Cup cycles since the launch of the U-17 Residency Program in 1999.
Since the establishment of U-17 Residency almost nine years ago, the program has seen remarkable success in connecting players through U.S. Soccer’s National Team program and on to the full team. Of the 60 players capped by Bradley in 2007, 12 have been a part of the Under-17 Residency Program, a strong reflection of the programs development. Five players from the U-17 Residency Program (Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Oguchi Onyewu, Bobby Convey and Eddie Johnson) participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
A replacement for Hackworth as the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach will be named in the near future.