The new-look Chicago Fire front office continued to take shape on Friday, when the club announced that former Columbus Crew technical director Brian Bliss has joined the Fire in the same capacity.
Bliss – who spent six years as the technical director in Columbus and helped the club win both the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup in his first year in 2008 – served as the Crew’s interim head coach during the final stretch of last season before the two sides parted ways last month.
“Brian brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and will be a tremendous asset to the technical staff,” Fire head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop said in a statement. “Brian has been involved with MLS for many years and has a proven track record of building championship-caliber squads. I’m excited to add Brian’s expertise to the Fire and look forward to working alongside him.”
Bliss posted a 4-4-0 record as interim head coach after taking over for deposed boss Robert Warzycha and expressed interest in taking over as head coach in 2014, but the club opted for former MLSer Gregg Berhalter last month.
During his time with the Crew, Bliss oversaw all player personnel matters, player assessment and domestic and international scouting. In 2012, the Crew signed Argentinean striker Federico Higuain, who was named 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year.
Bliss has also served as an assistant coach for the United States Under-20 men’s national team since January 2012. Bliss was most recently with the side for the team’s run to the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey with the Fire’s Homegrown midfielder Victor Pineda.