Chicago Fire have announced that the club has named Technical Director Frank Klopas as Interim Head Coach, replacing Carlos de los Cobos, effective immediately.
De los Cobos led the Fire to a 10-16-15 record, including going 1-4-6 to start the 2011 season, over the course of 41 games in 2010-2011. The former El Salvador Head Coach was hired by the Fire prior to the start of the 2010 MLS season.
Klopas, in his fourth season as the club’s Technical Director, will now serve as the Interim Head Coach through the 2011 season, while the Fire search for a permanent replacement.
“Since the Fire has elected to move in a new direction with its coaching staff mid-season, we wanted to ensure a seamless transition by naming Frank Klopas interim head coach,” said Javier Leon, Managing Director, Andell Sports. “Frank’s wealth of knowledge and experience as a player, scout, technical director and coach provide an extraordinary background for him to manage the team successfully as we work towards a MLS Cup playoff spot.”
Klopas, a Chicago soccer legend and member of the 1998 Fire squad that captured the MLS Cup and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, previously served as an assistant coach under Bob Bradley in 2000 following his retirement from professional soccer. In 2004, Klopas was named Head Coach and General Manager of the MISL Chicago Storm, leading them to their first playoff appearance in 2005.
“My passion and drive for this club to persevere through this transition is my top priority,” said Klopas. “I believe in this team, the players and the badge and will work tirelessly to ensure the success of the team going forward.”
Klopas’ first match as Interim Head Coach will be when the Fire take on Seattle Sounders FC at TOYOTA PARK on Saturday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. CT (CSN).