Fire assistant GM Steve Pastorino announces resignation

CHICAGO, IL - Fire Assistant General Manager Steve Pastorino today announced his resignation from the Chicago Fire and has been named General Manager of the new Salt Lake City MLS franchise. Prior to serving as the Fire's Assistant General Manager for the past year and a half, the 36-year-old Pastorino had worked with the club as its Director of Marketing since the team's inception in 1997.

"I am so proud of everything we accomplished in seven years at the Chicago Fire. My heartfelt thanks go out to Mr. Anschutz, Peter Wilt and everyone who helped make the Fire the great organization it is today," Pastorino said. "We will have comparable ambitions in Salt Lake City, where I am excited to get to work."

In addition to overseeing the team's marketing strategy, including sponsorships, advertising and broadcasting initiatives, Pastorino played a large role in developing business plans and strategies related to the Fire's stadium project in Bridgeview. In addition, Pastorino oversaw the development of the Fire's "Return to Soldier Field" campaign in 2003, which resulted in more than 120,000 fans attending the Fire's five games that season at the new lakefront venue, and was heavily involved in cooperative efforts with North Central College and City of Naperville officials during the team's two-year relocation to the western suburb in 2002-2003.

"The Chicago Fire extends its congratulations to both Steve and the Salt Lake Major League Soccer team on his hiring. While we will miss Steve in Chicago, his skills are now better served launching another expansion team," said Fire General Manager Peter Wilt. "I am certain he will make the same contributions to Salt Lake that led to the success of Chicago's expansion team seven years ago. I have great respect and appreciation for his work and support of my efforts since the Fire's inception.

"Steve has been instrumental in creating an organization that runs smoothly and is respected by fans, media, players and our peers. He did a great job selecting, mentoring and empowering his staff. He also identified, negotiated and developed significant external partnerships. Those partnerships, the staff he developed, the successful branding of the Fire and the Bridgeview stadium selection and development process will all be formidable legacies for Steve in Chicago. I am very happy for MLS that its first expansion since 1998 is in reliable hands. I am even happier that Steve will finally get the opportunity to make the final decisions and receive the credit he has always deserved."

The two-time MLS Marketing Executive of the Year (1998 and 2001) increased the Fire's presence on the airwaves, including radio broadcasts in three languages, and 100+ telecasts on Fox Sports Net, Comcast Cable and Telemundo. Under his guidance, Fire advertising campaigns were recognized with EFFIE and TELLY awards.

As both Assistant General Manager and Director of Marketing, Pastorino oversaw the team's longstanding and critical relationships with community partners such as LaSalle Bank, American Airlines, AthletiCo Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy and Resurrection Healthcare as well as dozens of other Fire corporate partners. In 2000, he created the first Hispanic Marketing Department in Major League Soccer and helped launch the Fire's groundbreaking partnership with Mexican First Division club Monarcas Morelia in October of 2002.

Prior to joining the Fire, Pastorino was the General Manager of the High Desert Mavericks - then the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent six years in baseball, including a stint in Lake Elsinore, California, where he was instrumental in the opening of a landmark $25-million baseball-only stadium.

Born in Venezuela, Pastorino developed his love of soccer while growing up in Portugal, Mexico and Colombia. He and his wife, Teri, have two sons, Lucca and Declan.

Those wishing to reach Pastorino can do so by calling the office of Utah Soccer, LLC at 801-983-1400.

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.