Former U.S. World Cup and Olympic veteran Brian Bliss was named the second Technical Director in club history by Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop on December 6, 2013.
“Brian brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and will be a tremendous asset to the technical staff,” said Fire Head Coach and Director of Soccer Frank Yallop. “Brian has been involved with MLS for many years and has a proven track record of building championship-caliber squads. I’m excited to add Brian’s expertise to the Fire and look forward to working alongside him.”
Bliss joins the Fire after six years serving as the Technical Director of the Columbus Crew. On Sept. 2, 2013 Bliss was appointed Interim Head Coach of the Crew,where he led the Crew to a 4-4-0 record to close out the 2013 season.
In January 2008, Bliss was appointed the first-ever technical director of the Crew. That year, the Crew went on to capture both the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup. During his time with the Crew, Bliss oversaw all player personnel matters, player assessment and domestic and international scouting. In 2012, the Crew signed Argentinian striker Federico Higuain, who was named 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year.
Bliss began his coaching career in 1999 with the Connecticut Wolves of the A-League. In 2000, Bliss was appointed assistant coach for the Kansas City Wizards. In six seasons in Kansas City, the Wizards won the 2000 MLS Supporters’ Shield, 2000 MLS Cup and the 2004 U.S. Open Cup.
Following his time with the Wizards, Bliss spent 2007 as the State Director of Coaching for Kansas Youth Soccer.
A defender by trade, Bliss represented the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the 1990 FIFA World Cup held in the United States. From 1984-95, Bliss earned 33 caps and scored two goals.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Bliss played professionally in the United States with the Cleveland Force of the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Albany Capitals of the American Soccer League and the Boston Bolts of the American Professional Soccer League. Following the 1990 World Cup, Bliss headed abroad where he played for Energie Cottbus, Chemnitzer FC and FC Carl Zeiss Jena of the German Second Division.
In 1996, Bliss returned to the United States and was allocated to the Columbus Crew, where he made 31 appearances and scored one goal of the course of one-and-a-half seasons. Bliss was traded to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in July 1997 where he finished the season, playing 16 matches and tallying two assists. Bliss concluded his MLS career in 1998 with one season with the Kansas City Wizards.
Bliss has also served as an assistant coach for the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team since January 2012. Bliss was most recently with the side for the team’s run to the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.