The Chicago Fire have landed their new coach, and he has a decent pedigree.
Raphael Wicky will take the helm of the Illinois set, leaving the U.S. U-17 national team. He’s the second coach to leave the USYNT set-up for MLS this season.
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The former Basel manager, 42, played for Werder Bremen, Atletico Madrid, and Hamburg over a 15-year playing career that ended with a short stint with MLS side Chivas USA.
Wicky was most recently with the U.S. U-17 national team, where he led the side an impressive run to World Cup qualification. Unfortunately, that ended with a spectacular disappointment at the tournament proper in Brazil.
“I am honored and proud to be named the head coach of Chicago Fire FC,” said Wicky. “This is a position that comes with a lot of responsibility and I can promise the fans and everyone at the Club that I will work hard and give my all. During conversations with Joe Mansueto and Georg Heitz, I felt that we all shared a similar vision for the Club and how to move it forward. That was important to me. Chicago is a world-class sports city and this Club has a bright future, both on and off the field. I can’t wait to get started.”
The Fire have had an interesting offseason that included an eyebrow-raising rebrand and a return to Soldier Field.
Nemanja Nikolic is gone and Bastian Schweinsteiger has retired, with 25-year-old Real Madrid product Alvaro Medran a new addition to the squad.