GaryLewis2023-EM-01

CHICAGO (Jan. 13, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC today announced that the Club has named Gary Lewis as Technical Director for the Chicago Fire Football Academy. 

In this role, Lewis will oversee the technical direction of the five teams within the Academy, including the U-19 team which will return this season. He will also work closely with the first team and Chicago Fire FC II technical staffs to ensure continuity from the Academy to the professional level.

“Gary has guided some of the best Academy programs in the United States and England and we are very excited to have him at the Chicago Fire,” said Sporting Director Georg Heitz. “He is very familiar with the U.S. soccer landscape and he has consistently shown an ability to develop players and serve as a mentor to other coaches throughout his career. We welcome his leadership and experience as we continue to place a strong emphasis on player development.”

Bringing a wealth of experience to the Chicago Fire Academy, Lewis has served as a youth coach, manager and Academy director in Europe and the United States, and as a coach instructor for the U.S. Soccer Federation. Over the course of his career, Lewis has coached and mentored players who have gone on to represent their national team, such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones (Liverpool – England); Brenden Aaronson, Paxten Aaronson and Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union – USA); and Obed Vargas and Reed Baker-Whiting (Seattle Sounders – USA).

“It’s exciting to be joining a Club that has consistently demonstrated that there is a pathway for players to go from the Academy to the professional level,” said Lewis. “It's an exciting project and I’m looking forward to watching players grow during their time in the Academy and develop both as people and as players. We want to build future stars for the Club, but also create alumni that will go on to be future ambassadors for the Chicago Fire.”

Lewis most recently served as New York Red Bulls II head coach after leading the Seattle Sounders Academy from 2020-2022. Originally from Liverpool, England, Lewis began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Everton F.C. U-13 side before becoming Head of Youth Development for Liverpool F.C., a position he held for six years before moving to the United States. Following his tenure with Liverpool, Lewis became Director of Coaching at The Football Club USA, where he oversaw a network of more than 1,000 coaches and players across six states. In 2015, Lewis joined the Philadelphia Union, serving as Philadelphia Union U-17 head coach before crossing the country to join the Sounders. 

Lewis holds a United States Soccer Federation “A” License and Academy Directors License, as well as a UEFA “A” License and an Academy Managers License from The Football Association. He served as U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team assistant coach in 2019 and is currently a U.S. Soccer Coach Educator.