Fire coaching staff set - Pause, Mitrovic officially named as assistants

Veljko Paunovic's assistant coaches will include Logan Pause and two members of his staff while with the Serbian U20 program. Marko Mitrovic and goalkeeper's coach Aleksandar Saric round out the match day technical staff. Jordan Webb has been named as the new strength and conditioning coach. Mitrovic's 14 year career as a midfielder in Serbia, Hungary, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan was followed by an assistant's position in the Serbian first division with FK Banat. He also served as the head coach for Red Star Belgrade's U16 team while continuing to serve as the first assistant for the Serbian U18, U19, and U20 sides.

Along with those positions, the Fire also announced the addition of two new trainers. Mario Cruz will serve as the head athletic trainer, with Steven Purcell working as his assistant. Several players expressed dissatisfaction with the training and medical staff last season, although Mike Magee was the only one to go public.

Jake Bronowski returns as the team's massage therapist, while another holdover from the old regime, Alex Boler is manager of team and soccer operations. Brian Sauer was also named as the new equipment manager.

Filed under: 2016 Pre Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • I will be very interested to see how the Euro influence in the coaching pans out. I have always felt that the US coaching establishment is way too insular. We generally agree that sending our players to play in the top European leagues is a good thing.(Emphasis on "play" and "top league"). However it seems that nobody (especially our coaching fraternity) thinks that our coaches could benefit by time in Europe. I realize that US coaches might not be welcomed with open arms but that is no reason not to give it a try. I have the greatest respect for Bob Bradley because of what he is trying to do in Europe. It would be nice if we could get more and younger coaches over there too. Unfortunately I don't think that the coaching fraternity in general thinks it has anything to learn from those "foreigners". On other sites I have recommended establishing something like a Fulbright Scholarship for young promising coaches, where US Soccer pays their salary for 2 - 5 years, and they work with one of the top teams/coaches in Europe. ???

  • One further thought: past problems with foreign MLS coaches have included unfamiliarity with the intricacies of MLS rules. Hopefully the presence of NR will cover that issue. Communications with players will be important to watch.

  • Thought one: I was looking at Saric's website and youtube videos- it will be interesting to see how the new style of coaching helps/hurts SJ.

    Thought two: so these are the guys that are getting replaced the next time around (as in, if VP doesn't make a long run here, will these guys stick around?)

    This season is certainly going to be interesting.

  • So there was nothing wrong with the trainers last year but now there are two new trainers.

  • Here's the new Fire kit.......

    White stripe!

  • Guillermo. If the season started today how many players do the chicago fire have that are under contract and have at least a year in the league?

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    Current roster coming later today including trialists. Not a lot of experience.

  • It is very difficult to pick one team in MLS that will be worse than the Fire. (Colorado?) While other teams finalize their already decent squads with the pick of the MLS free agents, or exciting young players from South America, the Fire are finalizing their coaching staff and are missing half a squad, including any real new talent.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Exciting young players from South America, proven to ALWAYS pan out. Especially in Chicago.

    P.S. Apparently Yazid Atouba scored a goal for Cameroon in the AFCON today. Anyone remember him?

  • In reply to TomazPP:

    Number 30.
    Funny, I'd been wondering about him last week.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Exciting young South American players you say? Wasn't Federico Puppo, Juan Luis Anangono, and Cristian Nazarit exciting enough for you? ;)

  • The recent MLS signings are mere tweaks to their various squads and come from big clubs like River Plate. The guys you mention were Dp's and considered major signings by the Fire. This season we are finalizing coaches while others have finalized their squad. It's hard to see anything other than another dead last season regardless of how good a coach Pauno turns out to be.

  • In reply to Celt:

    I'd actually welcome ... for a while at least ... a losing team with a sense of direction, a style, and an ability to adapt. The last three years have just been painful to watch. Once a team figured out the Fires' tactics the Fire looked lost; they looked like the definition of insanity ...

    This season will probably be brutal as far as the standings go. The entire identity of the club has to be rebuilt. Once that is accomplished then they might be able to attract some big(ger) named talent. Just give me something in which to believe!

  • Guys we are just going to have to enjoy the talent of the other teams. I for the first time since the start of the league am not going to renew the season tickets. I will buy single game tickets to see some of the fabulously talented and coached teams in the league. What in the earth is Andy Hauptman thinking about. I disagree with almost every move that has been made in the last 6 years. This year could be the worst team in the fire history. Can anyone imagine how Vella from New York feels about opening up against a third string center back and a rookie. Without Accam there is no exciting talent on the team. The entire team and organization is depressing.

  • In reply to Brokerman:

    I really don't care how Vella feels. He's not on our team.

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