CHICAGO (Nov. 6, 2014) – U.S. Soccer has appointed John Hackworth as head coach of the Under-15 Boys’ National Team.
In this full-time role, Hackworth will guide the even birth-year players as they enter the Youth National Team program. These players in every two-year cycle eventually make up the core group that will attempt to qualify for the biennial FIFA U-17 World Cup. He also will work closely with U.S. Soccer Technical Advisors and Development Academy clubs in a variety of capacities, including scouting and evaluation.
“When I heard about this position becoming full-time, I was excited not just for myself but for U.S. Soccer,” Hackworth said. “I think it’s a position that will truly advance our player development in this country. The U-15 coach’s job is to prepare a large pool of players early in the developmental cycle of the Youth National Teams, and expanding our focus in this area is significant. One key component is taking the messages from the Senior National Team and keeping them consistent throughout all the programs, so that players know what is expected at the highest level and we are properly preparing them to advance through our National Teams.”
“It’s great that we have John on board,” said U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann. “He has a clear understanding of the development process, and his experience will be hugely beneficial to the U-15 Boys’ National Team. He has coached at all levels in the sport and will be a great resource for young players on their developmental path. This is another important step in connecting all the dots throughout our National Team programs and the Development Academy.”
A veteran with U.S. Soccer, Hackworth began his involvement with the organization in 2002 when he first became an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team under former head coach John Ellinger. Hackworth went on to become the U-17 head coach two years later and in the following year took the USA to the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, where the U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals. In his last year as head coach of the U-17’s, he once again led the Red, White and Blue to the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the USA bowing out in the Round of 16.
Following his stint at the U-17 level, Hackworth became an assistant coach with the senior Men’s National Team and continued to be on the sidelines until 2009. He also served as the inaugural Technical Director of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
Outside of his participation with U.S. Soccer, Hackworth also had prominent roles at the collegiate and professional levels. He became an assistant coach for Wake Forest University women’s and men’s teams in 1993 and 1994, respectively. Furthermore, he was named head coach at the University of South Florida in 1998, where he led the team to two NCAA tournament appearances. Most recently, Hackworth spent five years with Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, serving as the organization’s Youth Development Coordinator from 2009-12, and later on as head coach from 2012-14.
Hackworth’s first camp with the U-15 BNT will include 36 players and will take place from Dec. 13-20, at a location to be finalized shortly. After the initial camp, focus will shift to a domestic camp in March of 2015, followed by a tournament in Gradisca, Italy, from April 22-May 2.
Hackworth will coach the 2000-born U-15 BNT players through most of 2015 before they enter the new U-17 Men’s National Team pool that will focus on qualifying for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
In the fall of 2015, Hackworth will transition from coaching the 2000s to the 2002-born U.S. U-15 BNT players for a two-year cycle.