John Hackworth is leaving the helm of the U.S. Under-17 men’s national team to take on the head coaching responsibilities of Louisville City FC in the United Soccer League.

Hackworth, who signed a contract through 2022, will direct the U-17 side in Costa Rica and take over the Louisville reins Monday, Aug. 13.

The 48-year-old replaces James O’Connor, who moved on to coach Orlando City SC in Major League Soccer.

“I am honored and humbled but mostly just excited to join Louisville City FC,” Hackworth said. “It is an opportunity to join one of the most prominent clubs in this country and work with a fantastic group of people who are like-minded in their approach to achieving success in every area we can.

“I would like to thank John Neace, Tim Mulloy, Mike Mountjoy, Brad Estes, and the whole of the LouCity ownership group for the trust and faith they are offering me to lead this team in the future. What the Club has achieved to this point is remarkable and I will look to build on the winning mentality and culture that has already been established.”

Hackworth had been in charge of the U-17’s since 2015 and served as an assistant to the U.S. men’s national coach Dave Sarachan since the beginning of this year. An experienced coach at the national level, Hackworth began with U.S. Soccer in 2002 when he served as an assistant to then-U.S. U-17 national coach John Ellinger. Hackworth succeeded Ellinger and led the U-17’s to finishes in the quarterfinal of the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup and Round of 16 in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Following that, Hackworth also served as the first technical director of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

“We are delighted to announce John as our new coach,” LouCity chairman John Neace said. “He has built an impressive coaching career to this point and we are excited by his obsession with winning and developing players. He embodies the commitment we all have for the club and we look forward to the impact of his work as we fulfill our shared ambitions in the years to come.”

Louisville (10-4-5, 35 points) is in fourth place in the USL Eastern Conference.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at