The Chicago Fire have announced that Brian Bliss has been named the new Technical Director of the club. This comes just over a week after Goal.com mentioned that Bliss was in talks with the Fire Front Office.
In the press release from the club, Frank Yallop had this to say about Bliss:
"Brian brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and will be a tremendous asset to the technical staff," said Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. "Brian has been involved with MLS for many years and has a proven track record of building championship-caliber squads. I’m excited to add Brian’s expertise to the Fire and look forward to working alongside him."
Brian Bliss definitely brings a lot of experience to the club as he was the Technical Director for the Columbus Crew for six years. While he did win an MLS Cup during his first year with the team, the Crew also had Guillermo Barros Schelotto, a man I still have nightmares about.
Bliss was part of signing Federico Higuaín, who was the MLS 2012 Newcomer of the Year, and Jairo Arrieta, who was a dangerous player in 2012 but struggled last year.
Before finding a player like Federico Higuaín, Bliss did first have to go through a couple of Federico Puppos with players like Milovan Mirošević and Sebastián Miranda. While Mirošević and Miranda were not Designated Players, they were pretty big signings for the Crew that did not really work out. Bliss, however, is not afraid to purge a roster if things do not work out, as the Crew let go of seven players last November and another four by the end of January.
One thing to be excited about is, with all of the talk about the Fire pursuing Notre Dame's Harrison Shipp to be a homegrown player, Bliss signed four players to homegrown contracts for the Crew. Out of those players, Will Trapp and Chad Barson were signed this past year and logged over 1,000 minutes of playing time in 2013.
It will be interesting to see what sort of partnership Yallop and Bliss will have. While it is Yallop's show, I doubt that some one with Bliss' experience would have joined the Fire if he was not promised to have some amount of autonomy. Yallop and Bliss might be more of a partnership than a boss-employee type relationship.
For a more extensive overview of Bliss' background and career, check out the press release from the club.