Following investigative reporting from, new documents have surfaced from former Union manager Peter Nowak’s lawsuit against the Philadelphia Union.

Chief among revelations are his I considerations of player fitness and health. Players had to run 10-12 miles in 80° weather, and were not provided with water. The former U.S. Soccer assistant didn’t believe in missing time due to concussions, and considered those who missed time due to them to be “p*****s.” Nowak even spanked players for discipline and hazing. Former team President Tom Veit and Sakiewicz approved of the harsh treatment, Nowak claims. Nowak also added that former assistant coach Rob Vartughian and current U-17 coach John Hackworth videotaped these occurrences. An unnamed player, believed by many to be defender Danny Califf, was traded to Chivas USA two weeks after going to the MLS Players Union to complain about Novak in 2012.

The Polish-born coach also failed to follow club and league bylaws. Nowak consistently ignored Major League Soccer CBA rules by playing unsigned trial and academy players in games, including in an exhibition match against Everton.

Though he was still head coach of the Union, Nowak applied for other club coaching positions in abroad, as well as the Polish National Team. Nowak even reached out to current Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic to join him overseas. Novak even had U.S. Soccer figure Shep Messing, who Novak gave an MLS Championship ring to for being “an advisor” to him at D.C. United, advise Sunil Gulati, President of U.S. Soccer, to hire Nowak the national team coach once Bob Bradley had been sacked. Messing quoted Novak as saying:

I have to get the hell out of Philadelphia. These guys are stupid. They don’t know what they’re doing and they’re broke. They have no money…Nick Sakiewicz doesn’t have a f*****g clue.


Nowak offered quite a bit of rebuttal o his end, accusing the Union of mismanaging their franchise in several ways. He made claims that the Union “had not, and could not, pay its required franchise fee.” Nowak also said he “received a text message from Mr. Sakiewicz, after one of the games, that [a player whose name was removed] cost us the the game and we have to do something about it.”

If these allegations are all true, and, with them having been made in a legal courtroom environment, one would expect them to carry weight, the Union completely demolished their beginning foundations as a franchise. Nowak himself spoiled the seeds of the Union first team, and should be nowhere near American soccer anytime soon. From the top down, the Union ruined their chances of getting off the ground, and ultimately, do not deserve to operate as a franchise in Major League Soccer.

Photo: Press of Atlantic City

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