CHICAGO(June 21, 2021) – Chicago Fire FC and the Fire Academy today announced that former Fire first-team forward Patrick Nyarko has been hired as an assistant coach for the Club’s U-19 team.
“We are very happy to welcome Patrick back to the Chicago Fire,” said Chicago Fire FC Academy Technical Director Cedric Cattenoy. “Patrick brings a wealth of experience as a player at the highest level and a connection to the Club’s past, which will be extremely valuable for our Academy players. When he walked back into the training facility, you could see everyone was smiling and happy to see him, which shows you that he was a good player, but he is an even better person who embodies the Club’s values.”
Nyarko joins the staff of Ludovic Taillandier who will lead the Fire Academy U-19 team as head coach. Nyarko’s field role as an assistant coach will include helping to guide the team that serves as the final stepping stone from the Academy to the Chicago Fire first team.
Working alongside Taillandier, Nyarko will assist with developing the Academy's U-19 players through the Club's game model and playing philosophies.
“I’m very excited to be back in Chicago where I spent so many years during my playing career,” said Nyarko. “It’s impressive to see how the Chicago Fire Academy has grown over the years and I am looking forward to learning from all the coaches and staff at the Club. After spending a decade as a player in MLS, hopefully I can bring that experience to the players as they learn about what it takes to make it as professionals, both on and off the field.”
Nyarko was drafted as the seventh overall pick by the Chicago Fire in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. He made 196 appearances (148 starts) for the Club between 2008-15, scoring 19 goals and dishing out 39 assists. After spending eight seasons with the Fire, Nyarko spent two seasons at D.C. United where he played 40 games (35 starts).
Internationally, Nyarko has represented the Ghana National Team at the senior team level. Nyarko made his Ghana debut against Chile on February 29, 2012 at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.
The Chicago Fire FC Academy is currently participating in MLS Next, with the U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams scheduled to compete in the MLS Next Playoffs from June 25-July 3 in Frisco, Texas.