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Chicago Fire to hire Ezra Hendrickson as the club’s next head coach

The 49-year-old beat out Razov, Nagamura for the job

MLS: Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew SC
Ezra Hendrickson yells from the sideline while serving as an assistant coach for the Columbus Crew
Columbus Dispatch-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Chicago Fire plan to hire Ezra Hendrickson as the club’s next head coach, multiple sources tell Hot Time in Old Town. Both sides still need to agree to terms and finalize the paperwork, but discussions are trending in the right direction.

The Columbus Crew assistant beat out the two other finalists for the job—Fire club legend Ante Razov, and Sporting Kansas City II head coach Paulo Nagamura. The Fire wanted a coach with MLS or Liga MX experience, and Hendrickson brings a lot of it. He’s been in and around MLS for 25 years—13 as a coach and 12 as a player. During that stretch he won 15 major trophies, including the 2020 MLS Cup with the Crew.

Hendrickson, 49, is originally from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Prior to the Crew, he worked as an assistant with the LA Galaxy, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ national team, and the Seattle Sounders. He was also the head coach at Seattle Sounders II from 2014-2018.

SOCCER: JUL 14 MLS - LA Galaxy at New England Revolution
Hendrickson in 2018 as an assistant with the LA Galaxy
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As a player, he spent time with the MetroStars, LA Galaxy, Dallas Burn, DC United, Chivas USA, and the Columbus Crew. He retired from playing in 2008.

Hendrickson, who has worked under winning coaches like Sigi Schmid, Caleb Porter, and Brian Schmetzer, is well respected around the league, and has been a candidate for other recent head coaching openings.

The Fire are expected to finalize the deal very soon.