The United States under-17 men's national team have a new head coach. U.S. Soccer announced today that John Hackworth will be taking over the position full time after coaching the team in the interim during the most recent Nike International Friendlies in Florida.
Hackworth replaces the departed Richie Williams, who is off to be an assistant coach with Real Salt Lake in MLS. Williams' tenure as U-17 boss will likely be viewed as an unmemorable one from a results standpoint. The most recent crop of players that he guided to a 3-and-out showing at the 2015 U-17 World Cup was viewed as one of the most talented player pools in recent memory.
The appointment of Hackworth leaves a lot to be desired. Instead of attempting to make a splash by bringing in fresh ideas and be revolutionary, U.S. Soccer continues to stick with the same recycled names that they're comfortable with. Like Williams was before him, Hackworth is a failed MLS head coach with the Philadelphia Union with very little coaching success at the higher levels.
The federation continues to pile money into youth development but continues to recycle the coaches through the system. One has to wonder what would happen if they thought outside the box and brought in a visionary who wouldn't be afraid to change things up a bit.