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Frank Klopas out as Chicago Fire head coach

Oct 30, 2013, 11:25 AM EDT

Charleston Battery v Chicago Fire - Carolina Challenge Cup Getty Images

The Chicago Fire have put an end to Frank Klopas’ time in charge of the Fire, with an announcement revealing Klopas has ‘stepped down’ after he took charge of two full MLS seasons after arriving on an interim basis in 2011.

Following a statement on Wednesday morning from the club, Klopas is out after his side failed to reach the playoffs on Sunday following a second half collapse in a 5-2 defeat to Supporters’ Shield champs New York. Klopas led Chicago to the postseason in his first full season in charge in 2012, but it seems as though his familiar to repeat that feat has now cost him his job.

Klopas is the second MLS coach in as many days to lose his job, following Martin Rennie’s sacking from the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday.

In related news, Fire team president Javier Leon has also been ousted.

Klopas, 47, is a legend on the Chicago soccer scene after lifting MLS Cup and Open Cup titles with his hometown team during their early success in MLS from 1998 until 2000. The Greek-American, who played professionally in Greece as well as for the USMNT, must be hailed after stepping down from the front office when needed and becoming the Fire’s interim head coach following the disastrous reign of Carlos de los Cobos in 2011. But of course, his role as TD meant that Klopas built that team from scratch, then brought in de los Cobos as coach and fired him after the terrible run of results. So, in essence Klopas’ quick tidy up of a poor managerial appointment lasted over two years. But he still comes out with plenty of credit for the job he’s done in difficult circumstances.

(MORE: Martin Rennie out as Vancouver Whitecaps manager, why he failed)

You see, Klopas’ initial role with Chicago was Technical Director and for someone who wasn’t really brought in to become head coach, he’s done a decent job to steady the ship, bringing the playoffs to the Fire last season and gave them a chance of doing the same heading in to their final game of 2013.

Since he took the reigns, a 35-25-17 record proves he’s done a steady, yet unspectacular, job at Toyota Park.

But with a good mixture of youth, experience and talent, Klopas hasn’t left Chicago in a bad situation. Compared to when he arrived as interim boss during 2011, this Fire squad is much better equipped for the future and Klopas should be applauded for getting the most out of what he was given.

(MORE: Updated list of MLS coaching dismissals)

The club didn’t spend big or bring in massive DPs, and yes some of Klopas’ signings (Sherjil McDonald and Alvaro Fernandez to name a couple) didn’t work out. But whoever comes in will have plenty of top young players to work with and I for one hope Klopas is allowed to go back upstairs as a Technical Director with the Fire or elsewhere in MLS. That’s what he wanted to do from the off and because Chicago was his hometown club and he would do anything for them, he willingly filled the head coach void when they needed him too.

Former Chicago Fire star and Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch is being touted as a possible replacement for Klopas, I just hope the latter is able to stick around in the organization somewhere after doing all he possibly could to take Chicago to the next level. Yet I don’t think that will be the case.

He has come up just short as head coach, but Klopas can still be key to Chicago’s future success.

  1. mikeevergreen - Oct 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    To me, Jesse Marsch might just be the ticket.

  2. hildezero - Oct 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I agree. He’s a former Chicago player, too.

    • mikeevergreen - Oct 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Especially if he can pry CJ Brown out of RSL to run his defense. Brown woiuld stick his boot into Bakary Soumare’s butt and tell him to be a team player. Soumare has talent, no doubt, but needs a constant prod. CJ’s good at that.

  3. danielofthedale - Oct 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Seems like another team that would be all over Bob Bradley should he decide to come back to MLS.

    • mikeevergreen - Oct 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Bradley was their first coach. “No timetable” was mentioned at as to when a successor would be named, which may be a dead giveaway as to their intentions. Egypt lost 6-1 to Ghana in their CAF playoff opener, with the return match in Cairo (which is an explosive situation right now). A scared ****-less Ghana team may forfeit the second game, or play so poorly that Egypt beats them by more than they lost the opener by, and make the World Cup. Failing that, Bradley would be available.

  4. overtherepermanently - Oct 30, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Good guy, but his teams were painful to watch. MLS needs fewer coaches like this.

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