Fire dismisses Yallop, hires Rodriguez as GM
Chicago Fire will end the season with an interim coach at the helm after the club dismissed Frank Yallop on Sunday afternoon.
Yallop’s departure as coach and director of soccer instigated a widespread shakeup within the structure of the club.
Former Chivas USA president Nelson Rodriguez joins the club as general manager, while technical director Brian Bliss takes over as interim coach through the end of the season.
Fire investor/operator Andrew Hauptman cited the poor results on the field as the reason for ending Yallop’s tenure prior to the end of his second season in Bridgeview. Former MLS Cup winner Yallop departs with a 13-26-24 record during time with the Fire.
"I share our fans’ frustration and, while we’ve enjoyed success off the pitch, I’m obviously not happy with the results on it,” Hauptman said in a 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.”
Rodriguez is expected to join the club on Oct. 19 as he transitions out of his role as managing director of national team advisory services for U.S. Soccer. He is tasked with overseeing all sporting operations for the club, including technical and business operations.
The alterations compensate for Yallop’s departure and provide Rodriguez with the latitude to chart a different course for the Fire in the years to come.
“It is with great pride and excitement that I am joining the Chicago Fire,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I have tremendous respect for Andrew and his vision for the future of this Club and thank him for this opportunity. I have always enjoyed Chicago and admired its great sports fans. I consider leading the Fire to be more than just a responsibility, but also a privilege. I will work hard to uphold the club’s tradition, protect its honor and help raise more championship banners. I look forward to working alongside the great club staff assembled at Toyota Park. I also wish to thank U.S. Soccer for the privilege I had to serve with them and in particular Sunil Gulati, Dan Flynn and Jurgen Klinsmann.”