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Fire Coach Resigns to Take New York Red Bulls Job

By Todd McClamroch in News on Dec 11, 2007 6:32PM

2007_12_11_chicago_fire.jpgThe Chicago Fire have confirmed that Head Coach Juan Carlos Osorio has resigned and is headed to the New York Red Bulls for the 2008 season. Osorio, who joined the Fire mid-season last year, was just the third head coach in the franchise history.

Osorio cited "personal, family reasons" that led to his decision to depart the Fire before his contract ended. It had been rumored that his wife was unhappy in Chicago and prefers New York where she has family and there is a larger Colombian population. We're sure money played a part as well.

The Red Bulls, under the ownership of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, have shown a willingness to spend money with the franchise and made Bruce Arena, their former coach, the highest paid coach in Major League Soccer last year. Osorio stepped into the spotlight by turning around a Fire squad that was below .500 when he joined and taking them to within a game of the Major League Soccer finals.

How do the Fire players feel? Forward Chris Rolfe posted to his blog saying "Am I mad? Am I angry? Do I feel robbed? No, not at all. Juan Carlos did a great job for our organization ... I guess I feel grateful for the time that I was able to play for him." Chicagoist is sad to see Osorio go so soon. From what we saw of him on the field and in post game press conferences he was a class act that did an excellent job of managing the squad despite the challenges of coming in mid-season and blending in new comer Cuauhtemoc Blanco.