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Klopas Named New Coach of Chicago Fire

By Kim Bellware in News on Nov 4, 2011 7:20PM

Frank Klopas, then the Technical Director of the Chicago Fire, during the 2010 Chicago Fire Media Game

It's official: after acting as interim head coach since mid-season, Frank Klopas is the new head coach of the Chicago Fire. Klopas, a former Fire player, trainer and technical director assumed the role of interim coach when the club dismissed former head coach Carlos de los Cobos in late May.

During yesterday's press conference announcing the hiring, Fire owner Andrew Hauptman said:

"I believe Frank is the best person to lead our young men to achieve success on the pitch and beyond. Since we brought him back to the Fire ranks a few years ago, he has shown an incredible commitment to building the kind of club and team we strive for."

The squad turned around quickly under Klopas's leadership; prior to his entry as interim coach, the team struggled through the early part of the season, posting a disappointing 1-4-6 record. The notched their first win with Klopas just two games later, ultimately hitting a solid winning streak by August.

The team ultimately finished 8-5-10 overall, with a stretch during the final ten games of the season where Fire was 7-2-1. This fall the team narrowly missed a berth in the MLS playoffs, but made a but made a strong showing in the U.S. Open Cup. The team made it all the way to the finals, before the Seattle Sounders FC ended the team's hopes for a title with a 2-0 win over the Fire.

Klopas is the sixth head coach in the club's 14-year history and is the first former player to assume the role as head coach.