Klopas comes back to Chicago Fire

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Former Chicago Fire player and coach Frank Klopas, shown here in 2011, is rejoining the team.

    Former Chicago Fire player and coach Frank Klopas, shown here in 2011, is rejoining the team. ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
 
Updated 1/15/2020 8:22 AM

Frank Klopas is rejoining the Chicago Fire technical staff.

Klopas, the one person most associated with Chicago soccer, is a former Fire player, coach and technical director. Most recently he was the color commentator on team broadcasts on ESPN+.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Klopas, a member of the Ring of Fire, also coached the Montreal Impact.

Klopas is the first assistant coach hired by Fire coach Raphael Wicky, who was hired in late December.

"He has been an integral part of the Fire since its very beginning," Wicky said in a team news release. "His passion for the club and his knowledge of the league will be extremely valuable for our staff and players."

Klopas also played for the Chicago Sting as a teenager signed out of Chicago's Mather High School.

"My heart has always been with the Fire," Klopas said. "I'm honored to join Raphael's staff and I'm excited for the future of the club."

Marcelo buyout:

The Fire also bought out the contract of Brazilian defender Marcelo after one season. Marcelo was one of the highest-paid players on the team last season at nearly $800,000 but fell out of favor with then-coach Veljko Paunovic and didn't see the field much the second half of the season.

The move frees up salary and an international roster spot. It leaves the Fire with 16 players signed to the roster. Preseason training begins Saturday. The regular season begins March 1.

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