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updated: 8/11/2011 1:17 PM

2 MLS clubs hire coaches as Fire waits to finish year

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  • Interim head coach Frank Klopas of the Chicago Fire says the club's focus is on improving over the next 12 games and on the U.S. Open Cup. A decision on hiring a new coach is likely to come after the MLS season ends.

      Interim head coach Frank Klopas of the Chicago Fire says the club's focus is on improving over the next 12 games and on the U.S. Open Cup. A decision on hiring a new coach is likely to come after the MLS season ends.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Martin Rennie, left, of Scotland, listens as Vancouver Whitecaps' acting head coach Tom Soehn speaks during a news conference in which Rennie was introduced as the new coach of the soccer team in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Tuesday. Soehn, the club's director of hockey operations, will hand over the coaching duties to Rennie at the end of the season. Soehn, a graduate of Forest View High School in Arlington Heights, once played for the Chicago Fire.

      Martin Rennie, left, of Scotland, listens as Vancouver Whitecaps' acting head coach Tom Soehn speaks during a news conference in which Rennie was introduced as the new coach of the soccer team in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Tuesday. Soehn, the club's director of hockey operations, will hand over the coaching duties to Rennie at the end of the season. Soehn, a graduate of Forest View High School in Arlington Heights, once played for the Chicago Fire.
    AP photo/The Canadian Press

  • For Chicago Fire player Jesse Marsch was introduced Wednesday as the new head coach of the Montreal Impact soccer team, which will join Major League Soccer in 2012.

      For Chicago Fire player Jesse Marsch was introduced Wednesday as the new head coach of the Montreal Impact soccer team, which will join Major League Soccer in 2012.
    Associated Press/The Canadian Press

 
 

Vancouver and Montreal announced this week who their coaches will be for the 2012 season, but the Fire apparently will wait to finish the 2011 season before making a move.

"Right now we're focused on the next 12 games and the Open Cup," Fire interim coach/technical director Frank Klopas said Wednesday.

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Vancouver, which fired its coach on Memorial Day, the same day the Fire dumped Carlos de los Cobos, announced Carolina RailHawks coach Martin Rennie will take over next season. The Montreal Impact, which joins MLS next year, selected former Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch, once thought to be a leading contender to take over for Klopas, to direct its club.

"I'm happy for Jesse," Klopas said. "Fantastic. That's great. Another guy that spent a big time here in Chicago has an opportunity to coach. I know that's what he always wanted to do, and it came in a great situation and perfect timing for him."

Former Fire coach Bob Bradley, recently fired as U.S. national team coach, is a finalist to take over Egypt's national team. Former Chivas USA and Toronto FC coach Preki also is rumored to be high on the Fire's list.

Captain reaches milestone:

When he takes the field Saturday at New York (6:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet), Fire captain Logan Pause will pass Zach Thornton for second place on the Fire's all-time regular-season appearances list with 216. C.J. Brown, who retired after last season, leads the list at 296.

"Honestly, I feel very blessed to have been a part of this club for so long," Pause said, "but those are records and stats that I actually just hear from you guys."

This is Pause's first year as captain, and he put a lot of the blame for the team's 2-7-13 record on his shoulders.

"Honestly, it's been a really tough year," Pause said. "The results have not been going our way, but I accept and wear the responsibility of being a leader on this team. I feel like that a big portion of the letdown from my end in terms of leadership and trying to funnel things, some of the key concepts and principles that we're about. It's been hard."

Injury update:

Forward Diego Chaves trained with his teammates Wednesday and looks like he will be available for Saturday's game at New York. Defender Cory Gibbs rested his strained groin and could miss a second straight game.

Mike Banner, who has missed the entire season with a leg injury, suffered a setback when he tore a meniscus in his knee while training.

MLS makes a move:

MLS announced Wednesday a new three-year contract with NBC Sports to televise 49 games a season, plus four U.S. national team games. Most of the games will air on the NBC Sports Network, now known as Versus, but a few will air on NBC.

The move leaves Fox Soccer Channel out of MLS telecasts.

A new homegrown player:

The Fire on Thursday announced it signed 17-year-old Kellen Gulley as a second homegrown player, following Bolingbrook's Victor Pineda. Gulley comes from the Fire Juniors program in Mississippi and will be added to the roster in 2012.

A 6-foot striker, Gulley has earned 8 caps with the U-17 national team, scoring 4 goals.

Red Stars awards:

Naperville's Michele Weissenhofer was named WPSL Midwest co-Player of the Year for her work with the Red Stars this season, and Rory Dames earned Coach of the Year honors for leading the Red Stars to a runner-up finish in the league's national championship.

Jackie Santacaterina (Geneva) and Amanda Cinalli were named to the all-Midwest Team.

• Follow Orrin's soccer reports via Twitter@orrinsoccer.

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