The Polish tactician was in mourning for his countrymen who died on Saturday morning in a plane crash in Russia, killing the President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others, and said it was out of honour and respect that he did not take his position on the sideline for the match.
"Listen, it is the only way when my whole country is in mourning," Nowak said before the 3-2 win over D.C. United.
"There is only one way to pay respect to all these people I know, these people who are my friends, and that is to not be on the sideline. I know it is my job to coach these guys, but when there is a tragic event like that, you have to do this."
Nowak added the he wanted to be a part of it all but believed his decision to watch the match from a press box in the stands to stay out of the public eye was the right one.
"I wish to be in the middle of it, because it's the first game," Nowak added. "But I can only do what I think I have to do."