As the 2010 Major League Soccer season looms closer for Philadelphia's newest franchise, the Union has hired longtime coach and Polish soccer great Piotr (Peter) Nowak as its first head coach, the Daily News has learned.

Although the team will officially announce its manager tomorrow during a press conference at the Wharf on Chester's riverfront, a source close to the team confirmed to the Daily News that Nowak will be the man in charge.

Nowak brings more than 6 years of both international and club coaching experience to the Union, first serving as the head coach of MLS' D.C. United in 2004, leading that team to a MLS Cup title in the same year. In 2006, Nowak left United to join Bob Bradley as an assistant on the U.S. Men's National Team, which competed in last year's Olympics in Beijing. He also managed the under-23 National Team.

Nowak's knack for soccer comes from a lifetime of playing both overseas and in the states most notably for 1860 Munich and FC Kaiserslautern of the German Bundesliga. As a member of the Polish National Team, Nowak served as team captain for 3 years and was named Polish Player of the Year in 1996.

Back in the states, Nowak was a star on the MLS' expansion Chicago Fire, leading that team to an MLS Cup victory in its first year. In 2005, he was also named to the MLS All-Time Best XI team and his jersey number is prominently displayed over the midfield line at Chicago's Toyota Park. *

Daily News sports writer Joe Santoliquito contributed to this report.