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Osorio Hopes to Ignite Fire

By Todd McClamroch in News on Jul 9, 2007 2:00PM

The Chicago Fire have named Juan Carlos Osorio as the third head coach in their history. Osorio leaves Colombian club Millonarios to join the Fire mid-season. Prior to Millonarios, Osorio was an assistant manager for Manchester City in the English Premier League. He also was an assistant coach and conditioning coach for the New York Metrostars of Major League Soccer for several seasons at the same time Fire President/CEO John Guppy was serving as V.P. of Marketing and Sales for the Metrostars.

Guppy must have seen something then or since that makes him believe Osorio is the man to right this Fire ship that has won just one MLS match in their past eleven, putting them at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. The Fire released Head Coach Dave Sarachan on June 20 and gave the interim coaching title to Assistant Coach Denis Hamlett. Ives Galarcep spoke with Osorio and commented on his blog, "Osorio does not have a ready-made staff ready to join him with Chicago. He is very interested in having Denis Hamlett stay on as an assistant coach. The only question is whether Hamlett will want to stay or if he will choose to depart." He also commented that he considers Osorio "an innovative coach with the tools to flourish as a head coach in MLS."

Although Chicagoist is happy about the coaching change, we also realize that Sarachan was put in a difficult position, having to deal with injuries to Chris Rolfe, seeing players like Justin Mapp called away to play with the national team and awaiting the arrival of Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Osorio may have an easier go of it simply by having key players available to him. Mapp returned to the Fire this past weekend after the United States exited Copa America, while Blanco and the Mexican National Team have advanced to the semi-finals, and he should join the Fire shortly after that tournament concludes. We are hoping that as Rolfe, Mapp and Blanco begin playing together under the management of Osario that the Fire can turn the season around and work their way back into the playoff picture.