Swiss league leader Young Boys fires Raphaël Wicky after slumping team loses 3 straight

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Swiss league leader Young Boys fired coach Raphaël Wicky on Monday after three straight losses in a week that left the defending champion atop the table by just one point and out of the domestic cup.

Wicky, the former Chicago Fire and United States under-17s coach, had taken Young Boys to a league and cup double in his first season and then advanced into a Champions League group where it played Manchester City.

He was fired because the team needed “fresh energy,” said Young Boys sporting director Christoph Spycher, who was a Switzerland teammate of Wicky at the 2006 World Cup.

Wicky joined Young Boys before the 2022-23 season and his two-year contract had seemed unlikely to be renewed.

Young Boys lost at home to its closest title rival Servette on Feb. 25 and another defeat followed Sunday at Zurich, conceding the only goal after 11 seconds. Between those losses Young Boys was eliminated from the domestic cup by second-tier Sion.

The Bern club has won five of the past six Swiss league titles and 15 in its history.

Young Boys said its under-21s team coach Joël Magnin will take over for the rest of the season.

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The Associated Press