CHICAGO – Once again, Chicago Fire FC is making a change when it comes to the person leading the club on the pitch.
On Monday morning, the club fired manager Ezra Hendrikson less than 48 hours after a 3-0 loss to Nashville SC on the road Saturday that dropped their record to 2-5-3 on the season.
Frank Klopas, an assistant coach who has served in multiple roles with the club since its inception in 1998, will take over as manager for the rest of the 2023 season.
“This was a difficult decision, but after careful consideration, we felt that a change was necessary at this time as we work toward our goal of advancing to the playoffs and competing for trophies,” said Chicago Fire FC sporting director, Georg Heitz in a statement Monday morning. “We’d like to thank Ezra and Junior for their efforts during the past two seasons, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”
Hendrickson, who was hired by the club on November 24, 2021, finished his brief tenure as manager with a 12-18-14 record. The club didn’t qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2021 and is currently second-to-last in the Eastern Conference standings with 11 points.
This marks the third manager change for the team since the end of the 2019 MLS season. Veljko Paunovic, who was the last person to lead the team to the playoffs in 2017, was let go in October 2019 and was replaced by Raphael Wicky.
He was then fired shortly before the end of the 2021 season and was replaced on an interim basis by Klopas. Hendrickson was named the manager a few weeks after the conclusion of the season, but he like Wicky wasn’t able to complete a second season with the clubs.