Fire continue staff shake up

The Fire have parted ways with Head of Scouting Trevor James, Goalkeepers Coach Aron Hyde, Strength and Conditioning Coach Adrian Lamb, Director of Team Operations Ron Stern, Equipment Manager Charles Raycroft, and Assistant Equipment Manager Alan Araujo.

I reported this morning that Technical Director Brian Bliss had also been dismissed but that isn't happening just yet. According to sources familiar with the moves made today, Bliss has agreed to stay on until the end of January following the MLS SuperDraft. Former Fire Confidential writer Sam Stejskal also reported this morning that Bliss would stay on to help with the new coach transition.

Dismissing Bliss at this point would seem to be counterproductive given the amount of work a new coach and general manager would have to do in order to be adequately prepared for the start of the MLS Draft season on December 7. Keeping him on as a lame duck Technical Director may be awkward but probably necessary.

Stern, the cousin of former Chicago Sting owner Lee Stern, was the last remaining original Fire employee dating back to the club's first season in 1998. Raycroft's tenure as the kit-man began in 2003.

Filed under: 2015 Post season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • why fire the equipment guys?

  • In reply to Tweaky:

    yeah, that seems a bit odd

  • Guys this is really amazing. Nelson will name Ramos coach. So for the next two years we will have two guys that have never SUCCESFULLY lead a Boy Scout troop much less a professional Chicago sports team. I just can't forget the first game of Klopas. He was named head coach of a mls team and had never ever coached an out door team in his life. Can someone tell me why we are not going after a guy like Kreis or Petke? If Ramos is named head coach this could be set all records for bad mls teams. How are his under 17 and under 23 teams doing?

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    This question is on EVERYONE'S mind. Has it actually been asked and responded to?

  • In reply to Doug:

    Indications are now that Ramos has priced himself out of contention. So there's that.

  • I understand the scouting and coaching release but the operations and equipment guys is a bit baffling. I guess when Rodriguez cleans house he really wants to start over. Stupid! Why not concentrate on bringing in a good coach!
    I know I'm going to be disappointed! Oh well plenty of good soccer to watch on TV.

  • In reply to kaca:

    Right! Premier League and plenty of quality international play on TV. Save Second City #cf97 for comedic relief. If we need it.

  • Ron Stern is Lee Stern's cousin not nephew.

  • In reply to leebee:

    Hey Lee! We miss your ownership! You gave us some great years with the Sting. I used to go to all those games! Had season tickets at the stadium for indoor soccer too! Thanks for all you did for us!

  • In reply to leebee:

    Thanks, for correcting that!

  • I'll wait to see who they pick before I say anything...

  • ...or who excepts an offer from the Club.

  • And now NR states he's working from Jersey (4 days a week? More?) to be close to family.

    My god, you can't make this s*** up.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    Are you serious? Where'd you read that? Honestly, this organization is beyond clueless.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    My understanding, from what Jeff tweeted, was that NR would be working in Chicago four days a week. Hopefully Jeff or Guillermo can clairify. Here's the tweet:

    "@DFBJeff Been told by sources that Nelson Rodriguez will not be moving to Chicago. Family will remain in NJ, NR will be in office 4 days/week. #cf97"

  • So one of the biggest issues with Fire management has been a disconnect between management/ownership and Chicago. A distant owner who does not understand the city has been a big problem. To rectify a team in total disarray, the owner hires a general manager who will work from New Jersey. MLS...Please force this team to be sold to someone who cares!!!!

  • Here's another story on Pardo to the Fire:!QPSIdFK8Yqtag/

    Interesting listening to Jeff and Eric Wynalda last night on SiriusFC. Sounds like the Ramos deal never had a chance - USSF wanting too much to buy out his contract (or being unwilling to release him). At the end of his conversation with Jeff, it sounded like Wynalda thinks that GBS is the front runner now. Eric also had some real positive things to say about Pardo. Made it sound like he has been doing some unofficial coaching or something like that for the past couple of years. I guess he is close to Pardo, and Pardo really wants to be involved with the Fire. Either way, he was sounded really positive about either GBS or Pardo.

  • In reply to PadreJoe:

    I believe they have spoken to Pardo about the job but I have not heard that an offer is on the table.

    This next week should be interesting.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Hypothetically, if they hire Pardo wouldn't that go against what N-Rod had said what qualities he is looking for in a head coach? Do you think this is going to work out, basically starting from scratch with almost everything on the soccer operations side of things? Or will we still be 3-4 years out from being a contender?

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Pardo would be a big gamble as a coaching hire due to experience. They've talked to him but I haven't heard anything to suggest there actually is an offer on the table.

  • In reply to penapirata:

    Let's be clear, we are atleast 2 years away from being any good in the first place. This is not going to be a DC United type turnaround. We have a bad defense and a forward group that cant score goals. We need to bring in an entirely new coaching staff and and entirely new group of players. Frank Yallop destroyed this club. 90% of the moves he made were with a "right now" mentality and nothing worked. This team is nowhere near good.

    I never thought of Pardo as a manager candidate but I have no problem with that. He was a coach on the field, the same way CJ, Logan, and Armas were. We need a guy who is going to bring us back to a decent side in MLS. As long as the team is trying to carve out an identity on the field and is trying to play the right way, I have no problem waiting it out.

  • Sad to see so many people being fired. This will be a sad holiday season for them and their families.

    But, on the bright side, the angry, scorch-the-earth, black-clad fans got what they wanted. Hopefully, they will all enjoy their holidays as they look upon all the scalps they collected.

  • In reply to Charles Jogues:

    While I do sympathize with those who lost their jobs, it is the *Chicago Fire Foundation* that is the charitable organization, not the Chicago Fire club. We all pay lots of money for the product that they offer, and if it's not worth our money it's well within our right to let them know, and you'd expect them to make changes to improve their product.

    Think about it this way: if we all decide that this crappy team isn't worth our money at all, the team will go bankrupt, and they'll all lose their jobs.

  • Guys this year I m not going to put a dime in ah's pocket until maybe 10 games into the season. If there is some sort of a professional team then I will buy. There has been just to many idiotic moves to trust anything done by the chicago fire

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Results. It's the only thing that matters. Being good on paper or talking platitudes are only going to get you thrown out the door. As another blogger once put it, "Results m****-f****!"

    Until this team is good, they aren't.

    Surprise us Nelson. Surprise us.

  • Would it kill Nrod to provide an update or two or is he like the other club officials who think the fans are beneath them....

    A little communication goes a long way to healing the fractured relationships between club and supporters.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Agreed. Radio silence doesn't help.

    I wish the Fire had someone with some energy representing the club. Look at Frankie Hejduk with Columbus. That's impossible to replicate, but there's a guy who loves the club, loves the fans, and represents the club in the community. No one's going to turn to him for official pronouncements about the Crew (sorry, Crew SC), but it seems like he fills a void. While I love Pause, he doesn't quite have the same energy as a Hejduk.

    I know, when you've just burnt down the whole technical side of things, this might not be a big concern. But it's been a problem for the Fire for years now. No effective communication, no sign that the club actually appreciates the people who pay money to support them.

  • Guys I just finished watching two wonderful mls games.thevteams were talented well prepared an well coached. I could not imagine any of the last six year fire teams fitting into the type of exciting soccer played last night.
    Did I read that Ramos was to expensive ? Is the limits on no spending in the $8.25 an hour pay scale. The last time I checked pardo had never coached in his life. I well the pain goes on.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I don't think that there's a hard and fast formula to predict who will make a good coach, so I would not disqualify Pardo so quickly. Jason Kreis went from retiring as a player at RSL to becoming their coach practically the next day. He obviously had a lot of success as coach of RSL.

  • Velijko Paunovic? Not a name I remember hearing.

  • The silence is deafening!
    Nrod is running out of time to get a coach in place by Thanksgiving. I'm prepared to be unthankful!

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    In reply to kaca:

    It's already a done deal:

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    No doubt the Fire could have made a worse choice, but I wonder
    if they could made a better choice. Seems more likely like the typical
    Fire low ball choice rather than get someone more expensive who has extensive experience and could draw top flight talent to the club.
    But that seems to be the Fire's mode, take potential over talent, and save a few bucks. Best rating I could give at this point would be a kind of wishy washy C.

  • I like the fact that he played most of his career in Spain as I think that that hopefully means he likes fast, fluid soccer. On the other hand, I am not sure how that will help him with the Fire's biggest problem: defense. This hiring is truly wild given all the speculation on so many others. Given all the speculation, I never would have guessed that this is who would end up as coach. Hopefully he will know how to jump over the advertising signs to yell at refs.

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    A bit disappointed with the pick, see comments above, but willing to give him a chance, if he had several more years experience at a higher level, I'd feel more positive. Time will tell, but the Fire are running out of time and fans to develop a top tier team.

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