Chicago Fire FC announced today that Head Coach Raphael Wicky has hired Frank Klopas as an assistant coach. Klopas, a Chicago soccer icon, has been involved with the Fire and Major League Soccer in a variety of roles since 1998.
“I’m very pleased to have Frank join our coaching staff,” said Wicky. “He has been an integral part of the Fire since its very beginning. His passion for the Club and his knowledge of the league will be extremely valuable for our staff and players. I look forward to working with him.”
Since joining his hometown Club in 1998, Klopas has served as a player, head coach, technical director, team ambassador and broadcaster for the Fire over the course of 22 years. His honors with the Club include an MLS Cup title and a U.S. Open Cup championship in the same season (1998). Additionally, Klopas was inducted into the Club’s Ring of Fire in 2004 and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
“My heart has always been with the Fire,” said Klopas. “I’m honored to join Raphael’s staff and I’m excited for the future of the Club.”
As a player, Klopas made more than 290 professional appearances for clubs in the United States and Greece, including 50 appearances for the Fire from 1998-99. On the international stage, Klopas scored 12 goals in 39 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1987-1995, representing the USMNT in the 1988 Summer Olympics, 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1995 Copa America.
Klopas originally signed with the Fire ahead of the team’s MLS expansion season in 1998. In the Club’s inaugural MLS campaign, Klopas led Chicago to the “Double” by helping the Club win the 1998 MLS Cup, before scoring the game-winning goal just days later in a 2-1 extra time win over Columbus Crew SC in the 1998 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final.
After concluding his playing career in 1999, Klopas served as the Fire’s assistant coach in 2000 and technical director from 2008-2011, before becoming the sixth full-time head coach in Club history on Nov. 3, 2011. With his appointment, Klopas became the first former Fire player to be named head coach. While at the helm, he helped guide the Fire to the U.S. Open Cup final and the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Klopas then joined the Montreal Impact in December 2013, becoming the team’s head coach. In two seasons with the Impact (2013-15), he led the side to a Canadian Championship title (2014) and the final of Concacaf Champions League (2014-15). In 2016, Klopas returned to the Fire to become the Club’s broadcast color analyst from 2016-19.
Klopas currently holds a U.S. Soccer A license and is fluent in English and Greek.
Chicago will kick off its 2020 MLS season on the road on Sunday, March 1 against defending MLS Cup Champions Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field at 2:00 p.m. CT (ESPN). The Fire will officially make its return to Soldier Field on Saturday, March 21 when the team hosts Atlanta United FC in its 2020 home opener at 2:30 p.m. CT (Univision).
Fans can secure a seat for the Fire’s 2020 MLS home opener, or any home game of the regular season, through a variety of ticket packages. Beginning as low as $15 per game, season ticket packages for the 2020 campaign are available for purchase online or by calling 888-MLS-FIRE to speak with a season ticket sales representative. Additionally, season tickets for children ages 12-and-under are also currently available for as low as $12.50 per game.