On Wednesday, Chicago Fire announced they had fired head coach Veljko Paunovic after four seasons. The club confirmed the news after earlier reports from The Athletic's Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal.
According to the club, Paunovic's coaching staff, which includes assistants Marko Mitrovic and Eric Gehrig, have also been released. They will, however, have the opportunity to be retained by the next manager or be available for other roles inside the club.
“Four years ago, Pauno and the staff accepted a challenge to help establish a football culture at the Fire,” said Fire president and GM Nelson Rodriguez. “Their efforts helped revitalize the Club with a competitive spirit and a dedication to always putting football first. Pauno and his staff were relentless in their devotion to the Club and for that we are immeasurably thankful.”
After four seasons, Paunovic ended his tenure with a 41-58-37 record and guided the team to two semifinals in the U.S. Open Cup in 2016 and 2018. In the regular MLS season, he only managed to take the team to the playoffs once, in 2017 when the Fire ended third in the East.
This decision comes after a lot of change as the club look to return to Soldier Field next season and Joe Mansueto taking full ownership.
They recently traded Dax McCarty to expansion side Nashville SC and also said goodbye to Bastian Schweinsteiger after the German World Cup champion announced his retirement last month.