Saturday night’s 1-0 home loss to Orlando City likely marked the end of the Chicago Fire’s 2015 playoff hopes and the club isn’t wasting any time to ring in the changes.
On Sunday afternoon, the Fire announced that they have parted ways with head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop as well as assistant coaches Marc Bircham and Clint Mathis. Technical director Brian Bliss takes over for Yallop as interim head coach alongside ex-Fire captain Logan Pause, who joins him as interim assistant for the final five matches of the regular season.
Leading the search for a new head coach is the club's new general manager, also named on Sunday: former MLS league office executive and ex-Chivas USA president Nelson Rodriguez, who will oversee all sporting operations of the club, including technical staff management, scouting, player personnel, player development and the club’s academy.
Rodriguez joins the Fire after most recently serving as the US Soccer Federation’s managing director of national team advisory services.
In nearly two full seasons at the helm of the Fire, Yallop compiled a 13-26-24 record with the club. After missing out on the playoffs in 2014, he leaves the Fire in last place in the Eastern Conference, nine points out of a playoff spot with just five matches remaining.
"I share our fans' frustration and, while we've enjoyed success off the pitch, I'm obviously not happy with the results on it," Fire owner Andrew Hauptman said in a club statement. "I felt the need to make changes now in order to better position ourselves for the off-season and beyond. I have tremendous confidence about the future of this Club in Nelson's hands and am beyond thrilled to bring him to Chicago."