On the same day the Chicago Fire announced the departure of head coach Frank Klopas, the team has already settled on his replacement.
The Fire will name former San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop as the team's new head coach, multiple sources confirmed to Goal on Wednesday.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise because multiple reports had Yallop as the front-runner for the Vancouver Whitecaps head coaching job. The Fire moved quickly to land Yallop, a former MLS Cup winner with the Earthquakes, after deciding not to renew Klopas' contract, which had expired. Sources tell Goal that Fire owner Andrew Hauptman had originally been in talks with Yallop for the team's technical director position during the season, which opened the door for the Fire to act swiftly to hire him as the new head coach.
Sources tell Goal that, as of now, Yallop is being hired strictly as the team's head coach. It remains to be seen whether the Fire will ultimately settle in handing Yallop total control with a combination head coach-general manager position like Bruce Arena holds with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Yallop takes over a Fire team that missed the playoffs via tie-breaker, but a squad in flux. The additions of Mike Magee and Bakary Soumare helped the Fire make a late-season playoff push, but the Fire fell short on the final day, being blown out by the New York Red Bulls.
Yallop left his position as San Jose head coach in the middle of the 2013 season amid a disappointing campaign. In 2012, he helped guide the Earthquakes to the MLS Supporters Shield.
It remains unclear who the front-runners will be for the Whitecaps coaching position now, but with a long list of candidates making around for a handful of vacant positions, the Whitecaps should have plenty of options to choose from
As for the Fire, Chicago will be hoping that Yallop can turn the Fire into a winner after four mostly disappointing seasons since a run to the 2009 Eastern Conference final, which the Fire lost in penalty kicks to eventual MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake.