Chicago Fire: Jesse Marsch
Former Chicago Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch was named the Montreal Impact's head coach on Wednesday as the team prepares for its first MLS season in 2012.
"It's an honor to be named the first head coach of the Montreal Impact in MLS," Marsch said in a release. "It's a great opportunity to establish something special. There are good soccer people in this organization that are committed to doing things the right way. My time in MLS and with the U.S. National Team exposed me to this game at the highest level. We will be committed to the process of becoming a winning team."
The Racine, Wis., native played for the Fire from 1998 to 2005, tallying 19 goals and 29 assists in 200 regular-season games. He was a part of all four of the Fire's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup-winning teams and the team's 1998 MLS Cup squad. Marsch was most recently an assistant with the U.S. National Team.
"That is fantastic," Fire captain Logan Pause said after first hearing of the news after Wednesday's Fire training. "I had the privilege of playing alongside Jesse and getting to know him as a teammate and a really good friend, and spent a brief moment with him with the national team. I'm so happy for him, and [wife] Kim and his family. I just think it's great. It's a great signing by Montreal coming in as an expansion team. He's a guy that's been around the league for a long time and really knows what it takes, and what it takes to win."
"I know that's what he always wanted to do, and he came into a great situation," Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas said. "Perfect timing for him."
Klopas says Fire not focused on coaching search: With Montreal taking care of its coaching situation for next year and the Vancouver Whitecaps announcing this week the hiring of Martin Rennie, all eyes are on what the Fire's coaching situation will be for 2012.
Klopas said following Wednesday's training that it is not even a topic of discussion right now as the Fire are looking to dig out of its last-place position in the Eastern Conference with a 2-7-13 record.
"We need to focus on the next 12 games and the [Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup] semifinal here," Klopas said. "Obviously that's our main focus. When that's over, then we'll look at the next step, the next thing."
Pause said he is not looking at the Fire's coaching search and the type of manager that eventually will be brought into the picture.
"It's not really my job or my role -- that's management and ownership," Pause said. "At the end of the day, and I take responsibility, the coaches are responsible for the organization and bringing in players. We're the guys out there. The coaches are not playing the game. We're either out there making plays or not making plays. We know that with the 12 games we have left we're going to scrap and fight for wins."
Midfielder Jesse Marsch, an MLS Original who played for the Chicago Fire from 1998 to 2005, has retired from Major League Soccer to take on a new position as an assistant coach for the U.S. men's national team.
Marsch concluded his 14-year MLS career with Chivas USA and now will be a part of USMNT coach Bob Bradley's crew as the team prepares for the FIFA World Cup later this year in South Africa.
"I have had the opportunity to work with Jesse for many years, and I believe the knowledge and experience he brings will be a great benefit to both the players and the coaching staff," Bradley said.
Bradley's ties with Marsch run deep, from Marsch's collegiate days in Princeton to his brief tenure at D.C. United when Bradley was an assistant, to the early years with the Fire, and then with Chivas in 2006.
The Racine, Wis., native was in the hunt for the Fire's head coach opening this offseason.
Goalkeeper coach trial: Some die-hard Fire fans probably are wondering why there still is a TBD next to the Fire's goalkeeper coach listing.
The man who could fill that role is Aron Hyde, a Birmingham, England, native who previously played at Judson College (now Judson University) in Elgin, Ill. His goals against average with Judson from 2003-04 was 0.77, and that mark currently is the seventh-lowest in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics history.
"I guess he's on a trial period. That is what [technical director] Frank [Klopas] told me," Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch said earlier this week. "I don't know how long that trial period is. It's none of my business. It is my business, but it isn't my business. My job, regardless of who it is, is to make sure that I'm ready for Opening Day. As I was once told, players are paid to play. They're not paid to think or ask questions."
Hyde previously helped with Seattle University's men's and women's programs as the goalkeeper coach for both squads.
If Hyde steps in, he would take the goalkeeper coach position previously held by Daryl Shore, who had been with the Fire since 2000.
PDL schedule announced: Chicago Fire Premier unveiled its 2010 Premier Development League schedule on Friday. The team's 16-game regular season starts on May 19 when Chicago hosts the Kalamazoo Outrage at 6 p.m. at Toyota Park.