CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 6, 2012) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Friday that Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovich will return to the club as Frank Klopas’ assistant coaches for the 2012 Major League Soccer campaign. As Klopas prepares for his first full season as Fire head coach he has grown his staff to include two full-time assistant coaches. Both coaches will join Klopas at this weekend’s MLS Combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., ahead of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, January, 12 at 11:00 AM CT (ESPN2/MLSsoccer.com) in Kansas City, MO.
Matkovich, 49, rejoins the Fire as an assistant coach, having previously served in the role for the club from 2009-10. The longtime Chicago-area coach played his first role with the club as the head coach of the Chicago Fire PDL from 2002-06. Hailing from Frankfort, IL, Matkovich spent 2011 as the Director of Coaching for the Chicago Fire Juniors-South and as an assistant coach for the club’s Academy sides.
The head coach of the U.S. Under 18 Men’s National Team from 2009-11, Matkovich previously served in assistant coaching roles with Toronto FC (2007) and with Percovich at Chivas USA (2008). Named the NSCAA’s Coach of the Year in 2000 for his work with the Chicago Magic, Matkovich began his start in the professional game after serving as head coach of the indoor National Professional Soccer League’s Chicago Power from 1990-94, helping the team to a league championship in his first season.
Entering his second season as an assistant coach with the Fire, Percovich, 43, is a former Copa Libertadores and Uruguayan First Division champion. A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, he served as a goalkeeper coach with the Colorado Rapids (2006-2007) and Chivas USA (2008-2009) before joining Toronto FC as an assistant coach in 2009.
In his time as a player, Percovich made six appearances with the Uruguayan National Team during a professional career that saw him suit up for Club Nacional de Montevideo (1987-1993), Atletico Mineiro (1994), Guarani FC (1995), Fluminense FC (1995-1999), as well as Alianza de Lima in 2000 and Racing de Ferrol in 2001.
The Fire will host Opening Day at Toyota Park against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM CT. Chicago Fire Season Tickets and 2012 Winter Packs, which give fans the opportunity to witness the Men in Red in action on Opening Day are available by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE (657-3473), via Ticketmaster or by heading to the club’s official website at Chicago-Fire.com. The Men in Red will begin their historic 15th MLS season when they travel to Montreal to take on Major League Soccer’s newest addition, the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, March 17 at 1:00 PM CT.