MLS- Chicago Fire

Fire yet to make decision on Klopas' future as head coach

Frank Klopas (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


The Chicago Fire didn't make the playoffs in 2011, but the team's strong finish to the regular season has interim head coach Frank Klopas looking look a good candidate to keep the coaching job. No decision has been made yet, but Klopas, also the team's Technical Director, does plan on being with the club in 2012, whether as the head coach or in another role.

"I'll be back somewhere," said Klopas. "When I stepped in, I definitely said that we're going to do this until the end of the season and sit down at the end of the season. Now that the season is done, I'm going to enjoy this moment with my players and in the next couple of weeks we're going to sit down as an organization and make the best decision going forward for the Fire."

"I've enjoyed every second of my professional job especially now when I did this as an interim coach. I really enjoyed it with this group because I've always believed in this group.”

Frank Klopas temporarily took the role of a head coach while simultaneously still acting the team's Technical Director. Klopas would usually be the one picking the right man for the head job. 

"It's a group decision, it's not only me. There are a lot of people that are involved such as Mr. Javier Leon [Managing Director], Mike Jeffries [Director of Player Personnel], and myself."

"We're going to evaluate and right now I think there are a lot of positives with this group. The way we finished the second half of the season, the way the team has come together, some of the additions we made late in the season have been very positive and definitely we can build on this."

The Chicago Fire finished off 2011 with an 8-5-10 record under Frank Klopas, improving from a dreadful 1-4-6 in the first half of the season with Carlos de los Cobos still in charge.

"I know there's still a lot of work to be done for sure because the league's getting competitive and here in Chicago, the way we want to move forward is that we want to be a team that's competing for the championship every year."

The Fire also managed to peak at a seemingly right time. Since August 21st, the club posted an impressive 7-2-1 record to lead them to a total of 43 points for the season, just missing out on the playoffs in the last couple of games.

"As good as this feeling is, believe me, next week when we turn the T.V. on and be watching the other teams compete for a championship, we're not going to be happy."

  • soccerroo

    With how the season ended I would think Frank deserves the opportunity to coach next year. The question is does he feel he can get as good a coach or better and then continue his work in the front office?


  • Ryan

    A mixture of both I think. De Los Cobos just couldn’t adapt to the MLS. Even though it took a bit for Frank to make changes, we finished on a hell of a run. I think he has earned the job next year if he wants it.

    Pardo and Grazzini were a huge part of it though too.


  • martha

    He’s probably a better coach then GM. Pardo fell in his lap Grazzini was a good find. Anibaba and Gibbs were good pickups as was Gargan.Oduro was a steal (thou he can’t be counted on to be your top striker to one dimensional)

    However the Uruguayans flopped ( thou I think Chavez was just tired from back to back seasons has skil)Nazarit, Mikulic, Cuesta, Paladini, Videira, Barrouch, Ferrarri, all ranged from average to bad.


  • Khan

    Pardo and Grazzini just fell into the team’s lap and were responsible for ALL of the success.

    The Chicago Fire won despite Klopas, not because of Klopas.


  • giaco

    Puerari was no flop. In fact, he was poached off from us by Atlante (the FMF side) for a king’s ransom. I wish he would have stuck around, as the linking play between him, Chavez and Grazzini with the outside speed of Oduro would pose such a threat on offense.


  • CG

    Can’t ignore either or even separate them. If it was Grazzini and Pardo, then it was Klopas who set up the system in which they succeeded. Maybe the best coaching was not over-coaching. Hard to say, but I can definitely say it was a lot more fun to watch than the previous year-and-a-half. If whatever they were doing at the end can be carried over and replicated next year, then as a fan, I’d say don’t change a thing. I’d take 21-8-5 next season.


  • This Guy

    You know absolutely nothing about the Fire if you consider Puerari a flop. You may even be a season ticket holder for all I know, but you are misguided about Gaston. I think I speak for every Fire supporter by saying this.


  • Harm

    I think Klopas did a great job. I just wish he had been a little bit more aggresive in the last 15-20 minutes of the game. I don’t think we would have tied as many games and might have made the playoffs.


  • nate

    I always thought Puerari was better than Chavez. I think Puerari started to become ineffective when he was put in the midfield and given less playing time. When he was up top with Chaves he was aggressive, quick-thinking and generally a pest to opposing defenses. Wish we had kept him.


  • nate

    Exactly. Mostly the additions of Oduro and Grazzini. After Klopas had been in charge for the same number of games as dLC had, they both had almost exactly the same record.

    Another explanation is simply that we were underachieving in the early part of the season. There were certainly games where we were terrible, but there were lots and lots of games that finished 1-1 where we dominated and just couldn’t put away the game. I think we underachieved in the beginning and overachieved in the end of the season. It made dLC look bad and Klopas look good when in fact it may just have been the natural ups and downs of a mediocre team.


  • Sims

    Definitely a combination….The defense was much improved also. It started with the competitive effort vs. Man U. It would have been interesting to see them in next year’s CCL. Seattle was going to make it anyway.


  • Monro

    The emergence of Sean Johnson and Oduro are also notches under his belt. Chicgo has a bright future.


  • strider

    It will definitely be interesting to see which way the team goes, Klopas as coach or back to the front office with a new coach. If FO, then hopefully this time the Fire will hire a coach who has a clue about how MLS works and is willing to adjust to what is. It is possible for a good coach with no MLS knowledge to do well, but takes a lot more time, something that is in short supply. We’d like to get back to winning and the playoffs next year.


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