Ezra Hendrickson is confirmed as the new head coach of the Chicago Fire

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Chicago Fire has announced Ezra Hendrickson as its new head coach for the 2022 season.

Chicago has been looking for a new candidate to staff dugout since parting ways with Raphael Wicky in September. Former United States international Frank Klopas has ruled out a 2021 campaign on a temporary basis. The Fire once again failed to reach the MLS Cup playoffs.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Hendrickson had become the top candidate for the job. The Fire has now made the appointment official, with sources informing 90min that he has signed a two-year contract with an option on a third.

“I am extremely proud and humbled to be named head coach of Chicago Fire FC,” Hendrickson said in an official press release.

“There are many people to thank. First of all, I am grateful to our owner Joe Mansueto for this incredible opportunity. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly. Georg Heitz, Sebastian Pelzer and Eddie Rock have also been supportive throughout this. process, and I’m happy to work with them as colleagues. We need to be a team to achieve our goals. “

To the Fire supporters, he added: “To the Fire loyalists, I know we have a lot of work ahead of us to get the club back to its days of MLS dominance.

“It will not be easy, but I know that your continued support for our club will be necessary and appreciated by myself, the players and the staff. I strongly believe that a team’s identity should be in line with the city’s reputation.

“When I think of Chicago, I think of hard-working, successful people and that is the identity that this team will adopt. We will always give you our best and make you proud to wear the Fire colors.”

This is Hendrickson’s first job as a senior head coach, but that does not mean he lacks experience. The 49-year-old previously led Tacoma Defiance (formerly Seattle Sounders 2) and had assistant roles with Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines national team alongside his current role with Crew.

Hendrickson has become a highly respected figure around the league. In 25 years of MLS years combined as a player and coach, Hendrickson has won 15 major trophies, including helping Caleb Porter’s men to the MLS Cup last year. He has also worked under very successful coaches such as Sigi Schmid and Brian Schmetzer.

A defender during his playing days, Hendrickson appeared for the likes of MetroStars, LA Galaxy, Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas), Chivas USA, DC United and Columbus Crew before retiring in 2008 – with 36 caps and two goals for Saint Vincent and The grenadines under his belt. Hendrickson really fulfills Fire’s mission to hire a coach with MLS experience.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Ezra to the club as our new head coach,” said Sports Director Georg Heitz.

“He is a highly respected coach who has had a very successful career in MLS. Ezra has worked in winning environments with some of the most successful coaches in the league, and we are convinced that he is the right person to help us reach “We look forward to starting our work together during what will be an important off-season for the club.”

The focus will now be on preparing for the MLS season 2022, with Chicago first traveling to Inter Miami on February 26 before taking on Orlando City in early March.

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