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Chicago Fire appoint Klopas head coach

Official release from Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire Soccer Club today announced the club has appointed Technical Director Frank Klopas as head coach of the Chicago Fire ahead of the 2012 MLS season.

With the move, the club removes the "interim" tag from his title after Klopas guided the Fire to an 8-5-10 record and the final of the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Fire Original becomes the first former Fire player to be named head coach, and the sixth in the club history.

Klopas was introduced by Chicago Fire Soccer Club Owner Andrew Hauptman today at TOYOTA PARK. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Having served as the club's Technical Director since January 2008, Klopas replaced Carlos de los Cobos as interim head coach on May 30 following a 1-4-6 start to the 2011 MLS season. The Fire Original eventually helped the side navigate to a MLS-record sixth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, en route to an impressive 7-2-1 league finish, the second best end of season record in the club's 14-year history.

"I believe Frank is the best person to lead our young men to achieve success on the pitch and beyond. Since we brought him back to the Fire ranks a few years ago, he has shown an incredible commitment to building the kind of club and team we strive for," said Fire Owner Andrew Hauptman. "He's a passionate and hard working coach, and he believes in our values and our philosophy and it shows. He has a special bond with our young players, and he has fostered a unique culture this year that is sure to lead the Fire to great success in the future."

"This is my team, my city, my club," said Klopas. "I am extremely thankful to the Fire organization and our owner, Andrew Hauptman, for giving me this tremendous opportunity to lead my hometown side as we look to compete for both the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup."

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