Head Coach Frank Klopas Names Coaching Staff for 2024 Season


CHICAGO (Jan. 19, 2024) – Head Coach Frank Klopas today announced his First Team coaching staff for the 2024 Major League Soccer season.

Klopas has hired Paulo Nagamura and Carlos García as assistant coaches, and Ryan Needs has been appointed as the team’s set piece coach. Nagamura, Garcia and Needs will join goalkeeping coach Zach Thornton and video analysts Theodoros Antonopoulos and Jeff DeGroot on the First Team coaching staff.

C.J. Brown and Nikolaos Kostenoglou will not return to the coaching staff this season. Brown will transition to a new grassroots soccer role with the Fire, while Kostenoglou and the Club have agreed to mutually part ways. More details on Brown’s new position with the Club will be shared at later date.

“I’m very pleased to have Paulo, Carlos and Ryan join our First Team coaching staff,” said Klopas. “They are all very talented and experienced coaches with diverse backgrounds, and I’m looking forward to working alongside them as we look to bring success to the Fire in 2024. I’m also very supportive of C.J. Brown’s transition to a new role with the Club and would like to thank C.J. and Nikolaos Kostenoglou for all their contributions to the coaching staff. I wish them both nothing but the best for the future.”

Nagamura, 40, joins the Fire with 18 years of experience as a player and coach in the U.S. and Mexico. Most recently, Nagamura served as the head coach of the Houston Dynamo in 2022 after becoming the youngest manager in club history. Nagamura originally transitioned to coaching after retiring from his playing career in 2017. He joined the Sporting Kansas City II staff as an assistant coach and helped the team win its second consecutive USL Championship Western Conference title. Nagamura then took the helm as head coach in 2018 and led Sporting KC II to the conference semifinals.

As a player, Nagamura retired in 2016 after a 12-year MLS career where he finished with 252 regular season appearances, three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles and two MLS Cups. He is a product of the São Paulo FC academy in his native Brazil and finished his youth career in England with Arsenal Football Club. The former midfielder also spent one season in Liga MX with Tigres UANL in 2010.

García, 39, comes to Chicago after spending the 2022-23 season as an assistant coach in the Italian Serie A with Udinense Calcio. Since beginning his coaching career in 2017, García has held positions with Maccabi Tel Aviv (2017-18), Chongqing Liangjiang FC (2018-19), the Ecuador National Team (2020), Shenzhen FC (2020-21), and Beitar Tel Aviv (2021-22). García originally began his career as a professional player in Spain’s La Liga with RCD Espanyol in 2002. He spent 16 years playing for various clubs in Spain, Turkey, and Israel as a central defender.

Needs, 35, joins the Fire in a newly created role as the team’s set piece coach with a proven track record in elevating team performance through strategic set piece training and execution. Needs originally began his coaching career in the English Premier League with Swansea FC as an Academy Coach and first team analyst. During his four seasons with Swansea, the team advanced to the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 and achieved its highest finish in the Premier League (eighth) and points tally (56) in the 2014-15 season. Following his time with Swansea, Needs also held roles with Leeds United (2016-17), Middlesbrough F.C. (2017-18), Birmingham City F.C. (2018-19), Sheffield Wednesday F.C. (2019-21) and Detroit City F.C. (2023).

The Fire’s preparation for the 2024 season is currently underway, with the team currently holding the first half of its preseason training camp in Bradenton, Florida. Chicago’s 2024 regular season, driven by Carvana, will open on the road against the Philadelphia Union at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa. The following weekend, the Fire will host 2023 MLS Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati on March 2 at Soldier Field. Scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. CT, the match against Cincinnati will mark the earliest home opener in Chicago Fire history, occurring two days prior to the Club’s 2023 opener. Tickets are available starting at $35 and can be purchased here via or by calling 888-MLS-FIRE.