Major League Soccer

Chicago Fire part ways with head coach Raphael Wicky

Lizzy Becherano
Chicago Fire FC part ways with head coach Raphael Wicky
Chicago Fire FC part ways with head coach Raphael Wicky / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chicago Fire FC have parted ways with head coach Raphael Wicky, effective immediately.

Assistant coach Frank Klopas will stand in as interim manager for the time being as the search for a new leader unfolds.

Wicky leaves the Fire sitting in 12th place on the Eastern Conference table, following a 2-0 win over New York City FC on Wednesday night. Prior to their midweek victory, the Chicago Fire suffered a five-game winless streak. 

“I’d like to thank Rapha for his tireless efforts to make us a better club each day,” sporting director Georg Heitz said in a press release. “We felt this was the right time to notify him that we will not be exercising his 2022 contract option, as we begin to make decisions for next season. Rapha will always be a part of the Fire family, and we wish him all the best for the future.”

The Swiss manager first took over in 2020 and led the Fire to a 12W-25L-14D record during the Major League Soccer regular season. One year later, the club is set to miss the MLS cup playoffs once again for the 10th time in 12 seasons. 

Before taking on the role of head coach, Wicky led the US Under-17 men’s national team and Swiss Super League side FC Basel. 

Klopas, who will be taking over as interim manager, will not be considered for the full time role and will instead return to his current position as assistant coach next season. 

This is now the seventh Major League Soccer coaching change for the 2021 season and second this week after FC Cincinnati and Jaap Stam parted ways.