Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Report: Philadelphia Union dismiss scouting director Diego Gutierrez, youth technical director Alecko Eskandarian

The Philly Soccer Page broke the news late Sunday night: Philadelphia Union director of scouting Diego Gutierrez and youth technical director Alecko Eskandarian are no longer part of the organization.

Report: Philadelphia Union dismiss scouting director Diego Gutierrez, youth technical director Alecko Eskandarian

Diego Gutierrez had been the Union´s head of scouting and player development since last August. (Photo courtesy Major League Soccer)
Diego Gutierrez had been the Union's head of scouting and player development since last August. (Photo courtesy Major League Soccer)

The Philly Soccer Page broke the news late Sunday night: Philadelphia Union director of scouting Diego Gutierrez and youth technical director Alecko Eskandarian are no longer part of the organization.

Gutierrez and Eskandarian's biographies have been removed from the Union's website. The Delaware County Times has also reported on their dismissals.

It appears that this is an aftershock of the dismissal of Peter Nowak. Gutierrez and Eskandarian were both closely connected to Nowak, although it should be said that both brought qualities to the club that were independent of that affiliation.

Gutierrez joined the Union in August of 2010. A former teammate of Nowak with the Chicago fire, he has a wealth of connections in Central and South America, especially his native Colombia. He was responsible for bringing goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón and defender Carlos Valdés last year.

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This year, Gutierrez played a role in the signings of defender Porfirio Lopez, midfielder Gabriel Gómez, and forwards Josué Martinez and Lionard Pajoy. To be sure, not all of those signings have been successful - Lopez in particular has been a bust, and the jury is still out on Martinez and Pajoy.

Eskandarian was hired in 2011, after spending a year as an assisant coach at Virginia, his alma mater.

He played for Peter Nowak's D.C. United squad, and the two won a championship together in 2004. Eskandarian's role involved not just overseeing the Union's youth team. He was also a regular presence on the senior squad's bench on game days. Neither he nor Gutierrez were on the sideline when the Union were in Houston on Saturday.

It would not surprise me if both men end up in other MLS front offices relatively soon. Gutierrez's contacts and Eskandarian's work ethic and public persona would benefit many teams in the league.

Union manager John Hackworth will address the media Monday afternoon. We will see what he has to say on these departures.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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