CHICAGO – As the franchise continues to change with new ownership, a key member of the front office is stepping aside ahead of the 2021 season.
Team president Nelson Rodriguez, who also served as the team’s general manager during his tenure, resigned on Monday morning after five years with the club.
“I began discussing my future with Owner and Chairman Joe Mansueto last month. At this transformational time for the organization, and after five years with the Fire, I’m ready for a change and I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges,” said Rodríguez in a statement released by the team. “I always tried to do what was best for the Club and I am grateful to Joe for his enormous support and to Andrew Hauptman for the opportunity originally given to me.
“The Club is moving in an exciting direction and I wish the team, the staff and fans the very best of luck.”
Rodriguez was hired as general manager for the club in September of 2015 and oversaw the hiring of head coach Veljko Paunovic soon after. Before the 2017 season, he signed German star Bastian Schweinsteiger to the club along with Nemanja Nikolic, and the club made the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012.
That January, Rodriguez took on the role of team President, but the club failed to make the postseason in the 2018 & 2019 seasons. Manseuto then bought the franchise and began to make major changes to the direction of the team, including the home venue and look.
During the 2020 season, which was paused then shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rodriguez focused mostly on the business side of the franchise as he oversaw the move back to Soldier Field.
“For five years, Nelson has dedicated himself and given his everything to the Club,” said Mansueto in a statement released by the team. “He has helped me tremendously over the course of our first year working together and I am grateful for that. We thank him for his loyal service to the Fire and we wish him all the best moving forward.”