Carlos de los Cobos is out as head coach and Frank Klopas is in as interim head coach for the Chicago Fire. The team made it official today with a press release stating:
[Frank] Klopas, in his fourth season as the club’s Technical Director, will now serve as the Interim Head Coach through the 2011 season, while the Fire search for a permanent replacement.
"Since the Fire has elected to move in a new direction with its coaching staff mid-season, we wanted to ensure a seamless transition by naming Frank Klopas interim head coach," said Javier Leon, Managing Director, AndellSports. "Frank's wealth of knowledge and experience as a player, scout, technical director and coach provide an extraordinary background for him to manage the team successfully as we work towards a MLS Cup playoff spot."
Carlos de los Cobos leaves a mixed mark on the Chicago Fire at best with an overall record of 10-16-15 'good' for 45 points in 41 games. His best stretch was between April 17, 2010 and August 18, 2010 when the team went 6-3-5. It was all downhill from there as frustration turned to anger in many fans when the team finished 2010 going 3-7-3. Some more thoughts after the break.
When I first heard the news, I immediately thought of Peter Wilt's article in Pitch Invasion last January.
The fear I have for "my team" is that, while there are certainly SHADES OF GRAY one of two things is likely going to happen with the new coach:
1) He will fail to win more than he loses, as has been the case with EVERY single other foreign coach without MLS experience in the history of the League. As the saying goes, "Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it."
That sounds about right. Carlos de los Cobos brought in two players at the beginning of his regin, Julio Martinez and Deris Umanzor. Julio Martinez made $126,000 and Deris Umanzor made $72,000 in 2010. Both were quickly determined to not be good enough to play in Major League Soccer. CDLC advocating that they be signed and at their high dollar value suggests just a little bit of the adjustment he had to make if he wanted to be successful in MLS. The 2011 off-season signings have been pretty successful in their individual performance but CDLC has failed to turn that into a successful team result to date. As I stated earlier today, the team is stuck in neutral. Something has to kick start the club.
Chicago will hope that Frank Klopas is the man to do just that as he takes over as interim head coach. Klopas' head coaching experience is limited to coaching Major Indoor Soccer League's Chicago Storm between 2004-2006. He also served as an assistant coach to Chicago Fire head coach Bob Bradley in 2000. I can't imagine that Klopas's reign on the sidelines will last very long. The cynic notes that Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman is coming into town next week. It is possible Hauptman has been looking to make a change at coach and this way he does not have to address several questions about team performance next week. I wouldn't blame Hauptman for wanting it that way. Perhaps we'll have big news on the sponsorship instead. Frank Klopas might not do a bad job because after all he was the one that brought a lot of these players in. Let's hope his vision can translate into tactics. The Chicago Fire needs Frank Klopas more than ever.