||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
|Full name||Fotios Klopas|
|Date of birth||September 1, 1966|
|Place of birth||Prosymna, Greece|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|1983-1988||Chicago Sting (indoor)||140||(62)|
|1988-1994||AEK Athens FC||49||(6)|
|1996-1997||Kansas City Wizards||54||(7)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Fotios "Frank" Klopas (Greek: Φώτιος «Φρανκ» Κλόπας; born September 1, 1966 in Prosymna, Greece) is a retired Greek-American soccer forward and midfielder. He went on to be a color commentator for Comcast SportsNet Chicago for Fire television broadcasts before rejoining the Fire as technical director in 2008. Klopas was the Head Coach for the Chicago Fire from 2011 until 2013.
Klopas emigrated to the United States when he was 8 years old and received U.S. citizenship on his 18th birthday. He and his family settled in Chicago, where he attended and played boys soccer, at Mather High School, which he led to the Chicago Public League championship his senior year.
In 1983, he signed with the Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer League straight out of high school, but an injury led to him missing the team's final outdoor season. Klopas would play for the indoor Sting in the MISL for four seasons. He earned second team All Star honors during the 1986-1987 season. In 1988, Klopas moved to Greece to play with AEK Athens FC. He played four seasons with the team. However, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 1991. That injury and a subsequent infection hindered his playing for nearly two years. In 1992, Klopas signed a contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation to play full time for the United States men's national soccer team. After the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Klopas returned to Greece and signed with Apollon Athens in 1994 for the remainder of the 1994-1995 season, as well as the 1995-1996 season. He debuted with Apollon on January 7, 1995 against his former Greek club, AEK Athens FC. In 1996, Major League Soccer began developing teams for its inaugural season. In order to ensure an equitable distribution of talent to each team, MLS allocated known players to each team. MLS allocated Klopas to the Kansas City Wizards where he would spend two years. After being sent to the Columbus Crew just before the 1997 MLS Expansion Draft, he was traded on February 19, 1998 to the Chicago Fire for Jason Farrell, who had been selected from the Crew. Klopas would play two years for Chicago before retiring, helping them to the MLS Cup in 1998 and the U.S. Open Cup to complete "The Double." In four years in MLS, Klopas scored 13 goals and added 16 assists. He had six goals and five assists in 40 games—24 starts—for the Fire, including both goals in a 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Mutiny in the Fire's first ever game at Soldier Field on April 4, 1998. Klopas' most notable goal for the Fire came in Golden Goal overtime of a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew in the U.S. Open Cup Final on Oct. 30, 1998, at Soldier Field.
On January 25, 2000, Klopas announced his retirement from playing professional soccer. On June 5, 2004, the Fire inducted Klopas into the team's "Ring of Fire," which celebrates outstanding players and contributors to the organization. The team inducts one person a year, who is no longer affiliated with the club. Klopas is joined in the Ring of Fire by former players Peter Nowak and Lubos Kubik and former general manager Peter Wilt. He was inducted into the Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.
Klopas made his debut for the U.S. national team in 1987 and scored 12 goals in 39 international appearances. He played for his country at the 1988 Olympics. In 1994, he had surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, but returned in time for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the 1995 Copa América he scored the first goal of the match in a 3:0 shocker over Argentina and a game-winning goal in the penalty shootouts against Mexico in the quarterfinals.
In 2000, the Chicago Fire hired Klopas as the team's strength and conditioning trainer. After the 2000 MLS season, he resigned due to personal reasons. On June 2, 2004, he was named the head coach and general manager of MISL's expansion franchise Chicago Storm. He led the team to a playoff berth in its second season, but resigned on July 24, 2006. In January 2008, he was named the first Technical Director for the Chicago Fire. He was appointed the Fire's interim manager following the dismissal of Carlos de los Cobos on May 30, 2011. Klopas earned his first MLS managerial win in a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew thirteen days later on June 12. The Fire finished the season 8-5-10 under Klopas, just missing the playoffs.
On November 3, 2011 the Chicago Fire announced Frank would become the new manager for the 2012 season. On October 30, 2013, just 3 days after a decisive 5-2 loss on the final day of the 2013 season, in which the Fire needed 1 point to qualify for the playoffs, it was announced that Frank would be stepping down.
Frank Klopas is also a technical director of a youth soccer club in Chicago called F.C. Drive.
Klopas lives in Chicago with his wife, Sophia.
- As of July 4, 2013
|Chicago Fire||May 30, 2011||Present||76||34||17||25||44.74|
- Mastrogiannopoulos, Alexander (2003-04-26). "Greece 1994/95". RSSSF.
- Mastrogiannopoulos, Alexander (2003-04-26). "Greece 1995/96". RSSSF.
- Foltman, Bob. "Trade To Fire Brings Klopas Back To His Roots," Chicago Tribune, Friday, February 20, 1998.
- "Frank Klopas Biography and Statistics". Sports Reference. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
- McCarthy, Jack. "Fire can de los Cobos," Chicago Tribune, Monday, May 30, 2011.
- "Fire names Frank Klopas Head Coach". Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "FC Drive - Our Coaches". Retrieved August 24, 2011.