Chicago Fire becomes second club to fire manager on eve of visit to Toronto

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TORONTO — For the second game in a row, Toronto FC will face a club under new management when Chicago Fire FC come to town Sunday.

Chicago (7-15-6) fired head coach Raphael Wicky on Thursday. Assistant coach Frank Klopas takes over the team on an interim basis.

Toronto (5-15-7) defeated FC Cincinnati 3-2 on Wednesday night, spoiling the debut of interim coach Tyrone Marshall. The former TFC defender took over Monday when Jaap Stam was let go.

The win moved Toronto past Cincinnati (4-14-8) and out of the league basement. A victory Sunday and TFC will be within four points of Chicago.

Toronto fired first-year coach Chris Armas on July 4 after a six-game losing streak, elevating assistant coach Javier Perez to the post for the remainder of the season.

Wicky, named head coach in December, 2019, compiled a 12-25-14 regular-season record with Chicago.

“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," Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz said in a statement. "Rapha will always be a part of the Fire family, and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Klopas, who has been involved with the Fire in a variety of roles since 1998, previously served as the club’s head coach from 2011 to 2013. He also had a stint as Montreal's head coach and director of player personnel, from December 2013 to August 2015.

The Chicago coaching change comes in the wake of a 2-0 win Wednesday over New York City FC that snapped a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) for the Fire.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2021.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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