In what was seemingly a foregone conclusion, the Fire announced the firing of head coach Frank Yallop on Sunday afternoon after less than two seasons in Chicago, among a slew of changes to the technical staff.
The club also appointed Nelson Rodríguez as general manager, and parted ways with assistant coaches Marc Bircham and Clint Mathis. Technical Director Brian Bliss, who will remain in his position, will serve as the head coach on an interim basis with former Fire captain Logan Pause joining him on the sideline as the assistant coach. Rodríguez will join the Fire on Oct. 19, all other changes are effective immediately. Goalkeeping coach Aron Hyde will stay on to work with Bliss and Pause.
Yallop, who took over from Frank Klopas on Oct. 31, 2013, was dismissed a day after the Men in Red's narrow 1-0 defeat to conference rival Orlando City SC - a league-high 16th of 2015. It brought to an end a tumultuous tenure during which the two-time MLS Coach of the Year amounted a 13-26-24 record in his time in Chicago.
Saturday night's loss was the last straw for California-based owner Andrew Hauptman.
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"I share our fans' frustration and, while we've enjoyed success off the pitch, I'm obviously not happy with the results on it. I felt the need to make changes now in order to better position ourselves for the off-season and beyond," Hauptman said in a statement. "I have tremendous confidence about the future of this club in Nelson's hands and am beyond thrilled to bring him to Chicago.
"Nelson is a proven leader with a stellar national reputation, an exceptionally skilled soccer mind and has extensive experience working alongside players and coaches. He is uniquely qualified to build and manage our technical team and lead our club, while more closely aligning our on field efforts with the activities of our dynamic front office led by COO Atul Khosla."
Said Rodriguez: "It is with great pride and excitement that I am joining the Chicago Fire. 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."
After adopting Klopas' roster for much of the 2014 campaign, this season presented an opportunity for Yallop, who was in the second year of a three-year contract, to make a playoff push following a substantial player turnover in the offseason.
But after a series of losses and having been glued to the bottom of the Eastern Conference table for much of the year, the inconsistency ran its course.