Chicago Fire find new Coach in Carlos de los Cobos

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Former head coach of El Salvador national team and Mexico’s Club América named Fire’s fifth head coach on brink of club’s thirteenth season

From the Fire Press Release:

De los Cobos brings more than 30 years of soccer experience—both as a professional soccer player and coach—throughout Mexico and Central América. He has played for and coached some of Mexico’s most prestigious teams, including Club América, UANL Tigres and Monterrey. He becomes the fifth head coach for the Fire as it enters its thirteenth season in 2010.

De los Cobos, 51 years of age, was most recently head coach of the El Salvador national team, a post he held from 2006-2009. During this time, the team managed to reach the last phase of the CONCACAF’s qualifying stage (the Hexagonal) at the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers for the first time in 12 years. De los Cobos is credited with changing the international perception of El Salvadoran soccer during his nearly four years with the club, along with reviving a national sentiment of pride. He also coached Club América of the Mexican Primera Division. In addition, de los Cobos played for Club América as a defender, as well as for Querétaro FC and CF Monterrey.

“The Fire’s priority in the head coach search was to identify someone with a love for the game and a track record of quality results. Carlos’ extensive soccer knowledge, experience and success as both a coach and player made him an ideal candidate, and we’re excited he has decided to join the Fire family,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “Our owner is especially committed to not just maintain our club’s history of tradition, honor and passion but to build on it, and I know that Carlos fully embraces this philosophy. He will provide the veteran leadership the club needs, while also offering the passion that will fuel a winning spirit on- and off-the-pitch. We truly believe he has the passion and enthusiasm to inspire both our fans and our players, and that he will help us bring an MLS Cup back to Chicago.”

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to coach the Chicago Fire, and I appreciate the generous support of Frank Klopas and Mr. Hauptman and the entire Fire organization.  This is a club whose owner, players and fans have the kind of passion for the game that rivals many I’ve worked with in Mexico. It’s truly the kind of environment I thrive in,” said de los Cobos. “Coaching a team in Major League Soccer, which is the most exciting and emerging league in all professional soccer, in a vibrant city like Chicago, was truly an opportunity I could not pass up. I’m going to work everyday to bring an MLS Cup back to this great club and their passionate fans.”

De los Cobos was introduced as the new Fire head coach today at a press conference at the home of the Chicago Fire, TOYOTA PARK. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The Fire’s head coach search included several candidates from three continents, as well as from within Major League Soccer (MLS).

“Carlos will be a tremendous asset to the Fire on every level,” Fire President Dave Greeley added. “The Fire organization is fully focused on creating a quality experience for our fans, including a winning and passionate style of play and Carlos will be a significant contributor to that goal in 2010.”

Prior to his most recent position, De los Cobos has managed seven teams in his native country of Mexico from 1993-2004, including the Olympic Mexican team as well as the U-21 and U-23 national teams. He has also served several times as the assistant head coach of the Senior Mexican national team. De los Cobos began his coaching career in the same year as his last year as a player, taking command of Querétaro FC from 1993-1994. In 1994, he spent a short period with Club Pachuca in Mexico’s Primera División “A” (second division) before crossing cities to coach UANL Tigres for two years (1994-1995).

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