Peter Nowak Is Scary In Press Conferences, Lighthearted On Twitter

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Peter Nowak, manager of the Philadelphia Union, has a reputation as a bit of a hardass. He’ll make players do post-game sprints. He straight up cut a player after one game for not trying. As a player and a coach in Major League Soccer, he’s been seen as a very traditional guy.

The press conference announcing the signing of Freddy Adu was hardly going to be a media grilling. The Union had just addressed a glaring need and signed a very marketable young American player.

When Chris Vito of the Delaware County Times asked Nowak what he believed Freddy Adu’s impact would be, it hardly seemed like a hostile question. In fact, it could almost be termed a softball. Surely this would be the time for the great, glowing soundbite that would whet the appetites of soccer fans across the Delaware Valley?

Obviously, you’ve never been to a Peter Nowak press conference.

NOWAK: What do you mean by impact? Just curious. What do you mean by impact? What do you mean by impact? Impact what? Just impact – what are you looking for from Freddy? You said what kind of impact?
VITO: To help the team.
NOWAK: No but the word impact. What do you mean by impact?
VITO: To help the team.
NOWAK: In what case? In what capacity?
VITO: To win.

Go here to see the video. It starts around 13:45.

Ives Galarcep of Soccer By Ives described the exchange as Nowak “channeling Joe Pesci.” Union fans on social networks jumped on the exchange, and soon, “What Is Impact?” became a running joke.

Perhaps to soften his public image resulting from incidents like this, Nowak took an extraordinary step on Monday, and became MLS’s first head coach with a twitter account.

He then became the first MLS coach to tweet “massive lol” in response to a joke about him.


A saying comes to mind about books and covers, but still. Peter Nowak is on twitter laughing at jokes about himself. Who’s next, Bruce Arena? Bob Bradley?


Props to @DaveZeitlin for the quotes.


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