An offseason of changes continued for the Chicago Fire on Wednesday as the team announced that they have parted ways with head coach Veljko Paunovic.
Paunovic has spent the last four seasons with the Fire, leading them to a playoff berth in 2017 before seeing the team take steps backward in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. In those four seasons, Paunovic posted a record of 31-25-44 in 100 matches.
“Four years ago, Pauno and the staff accepted a challenge to help establish a football culture at the Fire,” President and GM Nelson Rodríguez said in a statement. “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.”
According to the team, Paunovic’s staff will have their responsibilities “discontinued,” but could remain with the team should the next head coach choose to retain them.
The 2019 offseason has already been full of significant changes for the Fire, as Bastian Schweinsteiger retired and the club traded Dax McCarty to Nashville. Nemanja Nikolic also left the club after scoring 51 goals in 96 matches with the Fire.
The team also has a new majority owner, as Joe Mansueto took over that role, and has already announced that it is moving to Soldier Field for the 2020 season and beyond.