Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
For the third time in as many years, the Montreal Impact have a new head coach.
After a disastrous late-season collapse that saw the Impact defeated early in the MLS Cup playoffs, owner Joey Saputo decided to make a change in manager, hiring former Chicago Fire head coach Frank Klopas to take charge of the Impact in the 2014 season. The news means that Marco Schallibaum won’t return to the club next season.
In addition to signing a three-year deal to be the new head coach, Klopas has also been named the director of player personnel.
Following the 2013 season, the Fire parted ways with Klopas after nearly three full seasons as a head coach and five years as the technical director. The Fire hired former MLS Coach of the Year winner Frank Yallop to replace Klopas for next season.
The Impact have stated that assistant coach Mauro Biello, goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha, and fitness coach Paolo Pacione will return to the club next season.
Klopas will have a busy offseason trying to put together next season’s Impact squad, with so many starters on the wrong side of 30 and the loss of Alessandro Nesta. MLS MVP finalist Marco Di Vaio re-signed for next season, but the Impact faded down the stretch and will need to find upgrades in defense and in the midfield.
The 47-year-old coach and former Fire legend finished his time as head coach of the Fire with a record of 34-17-25 (W-T-L), with a winning percentage of just under 45 percent. The Fire only made the playoffs once in Klopas’ tenure, falling to the Dynamo in the knockout round in 2012.
What do you think of this news? How well do you see Klopas performing in Montreal? Do you feel that Schallibaum should have been given another year?
Share your thoughts below.