Chicago Fire FC made it official on Wednesday -- long-time MLS player and assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson has become the 10th head coach in Fire history.

Hendrickson, 49, steps into the role knowing the ins-and-outs of life at an MLS club like few others do, having been involved with the league in different roles for last 25 years.

As he gets set to embark on his first opportunity to serve as a head coach in the league, get familiar with Hendrickson’s history in our five key things to know about the Fire’s new man in charge below:

He’s a Winner

If you’ve landed on this article, there’s a good chance you’re already aware of Hendrickson’s bonafides within MLS. However, his trophy collection across 25 combined seasons as both a player and an assistant coach is worthy of further callout. Here’s how his long list of accolades breaks out:

Trophies won as a player (8):

3x MLS Cup Champion

  • 2008 Columbus Crew
  • 2004 D.C. United
  • 2002 Los Angeles Galaxy

3x Supporters Shield Winner

  • 2008 Columbus Crew
  • 2002 Los Angeles Galaxy
  • 998 Los Angeles Galaxy

1x US Open Cup Winner

  • 2001 Los Angeles Galaxy

1x Concacaf Champions Cup Winner

  • 2000 Los Angeles Galaxy

Trophies won as an assistant coach (7):

1x MLS Cup Champion

  • 2020 Columbus Crew

1x Supporters Shield Winner

  • 2014 Seattle Sounders

4x U.S. Open Cup Winner

  • 2009 Seattle Sounders
  • 2010 Seattle Sounders
  • 2011 Seattle Sounders
  • 2014 Seattle Sounders

1x Campeones Cup Winner

  • 2021 Columbus Crew

He’s Experienced

Hendrickson is in rare air when it comes to the sheer amount of time he’s spent as part of an MLS team over the last two-and-a-half decades.

As a player in MLS, he made 302 appearances across all competitions. Coincidentally, his 266 appearances in regular season play are sandwiched between a pair of Fire legends on MLS’ all-time list. He’s just behind former Fire forward Josh Wolff (267 appearances), and just ahead of former Fire midfielder Chris Armas (264) in the category. Not to be discounted, he also featured 123 times for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Men’s National Team from 1996-2007.

As a coach, he’s been an assistant manager in 412 games across his stops with the Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy, and Columbus Crew, as well as a stint assisting for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (according to TransferMarkt). That total includes 289 matches assisted under Hall of Fame head coach Sigi Schmid in both Columbus and Seattle.

That total does not include his 93 matches managed as a head coach in USL for Seattle Sounders 2 from 2014-2018 or his time spent in and around first team head coach Brian Schmetzer’s staff after he took over in Seattle following Schmid’s departure in 2016.

He’s Connected

Hendrickson suited up for six clubs in Major League Soccer as a player, and while none of them were the Fire, he spent time with a long list of club legends during his various stops around the league.

Two of the people on that list are still affiliated with the Club today. Current Fire captain Jonathan Bornstein played his rookie year with Hendrickson at Chivas USA in 2006, while current Fire color commentator Tony Meola was Hendrickson’s teammate at the NY/NJ MetroStars when Hendrickson was a rookie in 1997.

Take a look at more of his former teammates with Fire ties below:

NY/NJ Metrostars (1997)

  • MF Mike Sorber
  • GK Zach Thornton
  • GK Tony Meola

Los Angeles Galaxy (1997-2003)

  • MF Chris Armas (Galaxy, 1997)
  • GK Jorge Campos (Galaxy, 1997)
  • D Zak Ibsen (Galaxy, 1999-00)

D.C. United (2004)

  • MF Dema Kovalenko
  • D Brandon Prideaux

Chivas USA (2005-06)

  • D Jonathan Bornstein (2006)
  • MF Jesse March (2006)
  • F Ante Razov (2006)
  • D Orlando Pérez (2005)

Columbus Crew (2006-08)

  • GK Jon Busch (2006)
  • D Ritchie Kotschau (2006)
  • F John Wolyniec (2006)
  • F Andy Herron (2007)

He’s Witnessed Club History

As a member of the LA Galaxy, Hendrickson played against the Fire in the Club’s expansion season during its historic 1998 MLS Cup Playoffs run. The Fire defeated Hendrickson’s Galaxy two games to zero in a best-of-three semifinals matchup en route to winning MLS Cup in the Club’s debut season. Hendrickson was a key contributor for the Galaxy side that season, playing 27 times and picking up career-highs in both goals (five) and assists (six).

He’s in the Record Book

Hendrickson spent his playing career in MLS as a defender, but still managed to score 30 goals in all competitions from 1997-2008. A pair of those came in what to this day remains one of the most lopsided wins in league history. Hendrickson scored two goals - the fourth and fifth - in the Galaxy’s 8-1 win over the Dallas Burn on June 4, 1998. To this day, that match remains the only MLS regular season match in league history in which a team has scored eight goals, and its one of just four seven-goal margins of victory in regular season play ever.

On the international level, Hendrickson also played in St. Vincent and the Grenadine’s biggest win of all time - a 9-0 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands in a Concacaf World Cup Qualifying first round match on March 4, 2000.

Bonus: He’s on Twitter!

Hendrickson has an active Twitter account where he shares team updates, words of wisdom, highlights from his playing days, and even the occasional flex - which the Fire used as inspiration for his announcement video.

Go follow him at @EzraHendrickson!