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Fire Draws 2-2 Match v San Jose, Coach CDLC Given the Boot

By Kim Bellware in News on May 31, 2011 8:40PM

2011_05_fire-logo.jpg The Chicago Fire slogged through an uninspired match against San Jose Saturday night at Toyota Park, netting a game-tying goal in the final minutes to draw 2-2 with the Earthquakes. For the Fire (1-4-6), disappointing ties and late in the match points have become a familiar script as the teams trails in 8th place in the Eastern Conference.

With a single win in 11 games (versus Sporting Kansas City), the Fire announced yesterday it had decided to move in a new coaching direction, dismissing head coach Carlos de los Cobos effectively immediately. Technical Director and former Fire player Frank Klopas will serve as interim head coach until a permanent replacement is found.

De los Cobos's responses to post-game media queries about the team's losses or ties had been similar all season long, typically returning questions with vague statements like "this is soccer" or "I accept responsibility for my team." His assessments of the team's state, as well as his leadership over it, failed to impress, with the former El Salvador national team coach receiving his dismissal from the organization just shy of six months after being hired.

Play was sluggish on both sides during de los Cobos' last game. The Fire had competed in a marathon tournament five days earlier and contended with slick field conditions that had both players on both teams dealing with slippery footing. While the Fire dominated their opponent's midfield, the first half remained scoreless. In the 49th minute, San Jose's Ramiro Corrales netted a goal that the Fire would equalize shortly after on a shot by Dominic Oduro.

The Fire let up a second goal in the 74th minute when the Earthquake's Chris Wondolowski found an opening in Chicago's defense and connected with the ball to score off a header. With ten minutes left in regulation, Fire defender Cory Gibbs' stunning diving header tied the game (and his shirt-whipping celebration promptly earned him a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct).

The Fire takes the field against the Seattle Sounders next Saturday before hitting the road for a three game away streak.