On Friday it was announced that Nick Sakiewicz, the Union’s Chief Executive Officer, would no longer be with the club. Sakiewicz had been a key part of the formation of the Union, spearheading the process that eventually led to the official launch of the club in 2008. Philadelphia did not begin MLS play until 2010.
Sakiewicz, who founded the company Keystone Sports & Entertainment that became the Union’s ownership group, was well-known among Union fans due to his frequent press conferences and interviews. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Sakiewicz was a two-time MLS Executive of the Year during his stints as President of the Tamba Bay Mutiny and the New York MetroStars.
Jay Sugarman, the Union’s principal owner, thanked Sakiewicz while announcing the decision to part ways with him:
“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 along with his passion for the club. It’s time to move forward now and execute on our plan to bring a winning team to Philadelphia and its fans.”
While the Union did not have a particularly successful run during Sakiewicz’s time with the club, there is no doubt that Sakiewicz will be remembered fondly for his integral role in building PPL Park and officially launching the Union. Many of his subsequent decisions, however, were heavily criticized by the Philadelphia fan base. The franchise will move in a new direction now, with Union Chief Revenue Officer Dave Rowan taking over Sakiewicz’s duties until a replacement is found.
Sakiewicz, for his part, expressed gratitude upon his departure:
“I enjoyed my time at the Philadelphia Union and am proud of the team and organization and stadium we built. I wish the Union, [team chairman and owner] Jay Sugarman, and the entire organization the best of luck and continued success.”