Chicago Fire part with coach Hendrickson, return to Klopas
CHICAGO (AP) — The struggling Chicago Fire fired coach Ezra Hendrickson and replaced him with Frank Klopas for the remainder of the season.
The team also fired assistant coach Junior González on Monday.
The Fire (2-3-5) are 14th of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference with 11 points. Only the New York Red Bulls (nine points, 1-4-6) trail Chicago, and New York parted with coach Gerhard Struber on Monday in what the team said was a mutual agreement.
Hendrickson led Chicago to a 12-18-14 mark over two seasons. He spent 13 years coaching at the domestic and international levels before the Fire hired him in November 2021 to take over for Klopas, who had replaced the fired Raphaël Wicky on an interim basis.
Klopas played for the Fire from 1998 to 1999 and was their head coach from 2011 to 2013, leading them to the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2012. He has also spent time in the front office as well as working as a broadcaster for the team.
“This was a difficult decision, but after careful consideration, we felt that a change was necessary at this time as we work toward our goal of advancing to the playoffs and competing for trophies,” Fire sporting director Georg Heitz said in a statement.
Hendrickson was a defender in MLS with the New York MetroStars (1997), LA Galaxy (1997-2003), Dallas Burn (2003), D.C. United (2004), Chivas USA (2005-06) and Columbus (2006-08).
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The Associated Press