Report: Philadelphia Union Are Axing CEO

CBS 3 reports Union CEO and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz, who fans threw a funeral for earlier this year, has been relieved of his duties.

Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz before a May 2013 game between the Chicago Fire and the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.

Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz before a May 2013 game between the Chicago Fire and the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.

CBS 3 is reporting Philadelphia Union CEO and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz is out. Kevin Kinkead reports Union majority owner Jay Sugarman called a mandatory staff meeting today.

In an email to season ticketholders today, owner Jay Sugarman told fans:

We are making a change in the front office and parting ways with Nick Sakiewicz. In the interim, Dave Rowan, current Chief Revenue Officer, will oversee day to day business operations. Nick was instrumental in helping bring a team to Philadelphia and building our organization from the ground up, and we thank him for the dedication and perseverance he showed in those efforts and his passion for the club. Now it’s time for a new era of progress to begin.

The Union have largely underachieved in their six years in Chester, qualifying for the playoffs only once. The team has the second-longest playoff drought in MLS. The bright spots of the past two seasons have been the team’s thrilling runs to the finals of the U.S. Open Cup, the knockout competition that runs concurrently with the MLS season.

Unfortunately, last year the Union missed some late chances and lost to Seattle in extra time, 3-1. This year — on Wednesday night, actually —Sporting Kansas City and the Union tied at 1. The Union lost in a penalty shootout, 7-6, even though the Union players said they outplayed Kansas City throughout the match. “I say this very professionally: We kicked their butts,” Philly’s Michael Lahoud said.

Earlier this year, Philadelphia magazine’s Rich Rys detailed the dysfunction with the franchise, including stories of Sakiewicz meddling in player selection. Union beat writer Dave Zeitlin unfurled on Sakiewicz after news of his departure broke.

There’s more on his Twitter page.

The Union are 9-7-15 (W-D-L) this season, and at 34 points are next-to-last in the MLS Eastern Conference. The team has three games left, and is not making the playoffs