A month and a half after he parted ways with the Chicago Fire, Frank Klopas is back on an MLS bench.
The Montreal Impact announced on Wednesday that Klopas has been named head coach and director of player personnel of the club’s first team, having signed a three-year deal with the Canadian club. Per league and club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The announcement means that previous head coach Marco Schällibaum will not be returning with the club in 2014.
It is the second coaching job for Klopas, a Greek-born former US international, after serving as Chicago's head coach from May 30, 2011 until he and the Fire parted ways on Oct. 30 of this year. Klopas also served as the technical director of the Fire starting in 2008.
After taking over the team with a 1-4-6 record, he led the Fire to a 9-9-14 record in 2011 and an appearance in the US Open Cup final. In 2012, he led the team to the playoffs with a 17-11-6 record. In 2013, he led the team to a 14-13-7 record missing the playoffs by a single point. He’s compiled a career winning record of 39-29-23 in three seasons as head coach in MLS.
As a player, Klopas was a longtime US national team standout at forward and a member of the 1994 World Cup and 1988 Summer Olympic teams. He scored 12 goals in 39 caps for the USMNT.
At the club level, Klopas played nine seasons in Greece, most notably for first division club AEK Athens, where he won four Greek championships, one Greek Super Cup and one Greek League Cup.
The forward/midfielder then returned to the US for the inaugural Major League Soccer season in 1996, scoring seven goals in 54 games over two seasons with the Kansas City Wizards. He then joined Fire and helped the club to a history-making 1998 season, where they won both MLS Cup and the US Open Cup in their inaugural year. He retired at the close of the 1999 season with 50 appearances and eight goals with his hometown club.
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In addition to Klopas' hiring, the club announced that Mauro Biello (assistant coach), Youssef Dahha (goalkeeper coach) and Paolo Pacione (fitness coach) will all remain part of the coaching staff.
Philippe Eullaffroy will continue to work as the club’s Academy director while overseeing all aspects related to youth development and the club’s new U-23 PDL team.
The club’s director of soccer operations Matt Jordan will be promoted to technical director of the club and will have increased technical and club related responsibilities within the organization while continuing to report to sporting director Nick De Santis, who will oversee all technical aspects related with the first team.