After almost two months of speculation and waiting, the Fire have finally officially announced the hiring of Cedric Cattenoy as Technical Director for the Academy program. Cattenoy, a long time member of the Paris Saint-Germain Academy system essentially replaces Larry Sunderland, who departed for Portland last December.
International visa issues delayed the official announcement, but Cattenoy has been working with the Academy sides since the start of their season in early September. He'll have his work cut out for him in equaling the success of one of the top Academies currently active in MLS but the end result will be judged upon how many recruits end up helping the first team.
The Fire Academy will face a challenge for the top local talent from other programs such as Sockers FC and Chicago Magic PSG, where Gonzalo Segares and other former Fire Academy coaches currently pose an option for the best players.
The Fire's previous regime employed Rafael Carmona, who was connected to the Atletico Madrid youth system to little effect so it remains to be seen how much change Cattenoy will be able to implement.
“Cedric’s services were coveted by several other organizations around the world, yet he chose to join the Fire and help our academy become a significant part of our championship program,” said General Manager Nelson Rodríguez via press release.
The Academy staff has also been formally announced with holdovers Pascal Bedrossian and Francisco Murguia continuing to work with the Fire. NIU head coach Ross Brady, former MLS defender Brian Roberts, and another local Kevin Isaac round out the staff.
Filed under: 2016 Regular Season