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Fire FO Reshuffling Gives N-Rod A Title Bump

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The club also named veteran sports exec John Urban as COO

MLS: MLS All-Star-MLS WORKS Community Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not exactly a palace revolution, but the Chicago Fire’s C-Suite is going to look a little different in 2018.

CFSC General Manager Nelson Rodriguez was named club president, which owner Andrew Hauptman characterized as an “expansion” of his current duties. In addition, experienced sports and entertainment executive John Urban has been tapped to become the club’s new Chief Operations Officer, and will be tasked with leading the club’s business operations. In effect, the Fire have finally named their replacement for Atul Khosla, who stepped down as COO last summer.

In the official statement, Hauptman said that the personnel moves were the result of an extensive review of the club’s operations.

“From the moment I met Nelson, I knew he was the right leader for the club,” Hauptman said. “Over the past several years, he has created an exceptional foundation and culture for a top-tier club, on and off the field. I am delighted that he is taking on this expanded role, and am equally thrilled that John is joining as our chief operating officer.”

Urban’s most recent role was as a senior VP at Legends, a special events partnership between the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys. His past positions include operational roles at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall in New York, as well as business ops chief for the St. Louis Blues. Urban will join the organization next month.

Rodriguez, whose promotion is effective immediately, says he’s ready to use his expanded mandate to take the club to the next level.

“I am grateful to Andrew for his continued trust and support as we grow a world-class organization,” Rodriguez said. “Serving as president and general manager of this club is a great honor and privilege and I will do my very best to continue building a sustainable, championship program for our city.”