Chicago Fire de los Cobos, Vancouver Caps Thordarson

It is almost never a mistake for a team to fire a coach. It's like a relationship - once it gets to the point where you're seriously asking whether you should break up, you should probably break up.

The mistake almost always ends up being the choice of replacement. In many cases, the choice could end up being so poor that it calls into question the original decision to can the previous coach.

For example - Tradition. Honor. Passion. The Chicago Fire.

Seriously, check out this history of the club:

Okay, that last one was pretty funny.

Still, for the most part that read like the book of records that Balin's dwarves kept in the mines of Moria. It's oversimplifying to say it's all gone wrong since Fire fans failed to appreciate the trophies Dave Sarachan brought in, because you could certainly make a very good case that the Fire had been underachieving and deteriorating. Not a fantastic case, since Sarachan was fired after winning the Open Cup the season before, but they weren't the fearsome team that Bob Bradley trotted out. And probably some folks never forgave the belly-flop they did against San Jose in MLS Cup 2003.

So, fine, Sarachan had grown stale. The nicest thing you could say about his successors is that at least Juan Carlos Osorio wasn't completely exposed on Chicago's watch. Each successive firing was more justified than the last.

Klopas is probably the perfect person to try to salvage something here, since he was around back when the Fire won...but also because his fingerprints were all over the CDLC hire. Major League Soccer Soccer's archives have been unforgivably botched, so Google cache to the rescue:

*WOMP womp*

So this is why Klopas is taking over - either he wins the East, or he pretty much has to take the fall for what the Fire are today.

For our younger readers, the Fire were MLS 2.0 long before Seattle, only with an MLS Cup to go with the Open Cups. So while fans like myself are smugging themselves over the team flopping like a landed marlin, it's not good for the league. There's no excuse for the Chicago franchise to be a millstone - it's simply too big a market and a fanbase. And the Fire fanbase, to its credit, doesn't seem willing to tolerate lovable losers like Cubs fans do.

Unfortunately, given Klopas' golden touch so far, it looks like another lost season and a complete overhaul is in the works.

Now, I said rarely a mistake. Vancouver, on teh other hand, made a serious mistake in firing Teitur Thordarson. So much so, in fact, that there must be more to the story.


USL Whitecaps fans didn't deserve exciting soccer? Or Thordarson just started to stink all of a sudden? Did they really think the Whitecaps were going to dominate the West? Because...huh? He doesn't even get a full season in MLS?

Maybe the brain trust was still frosted at losing to Puerto Rico at home in the playoffs. But if losing to the Islanders cost coaches their jobs, then we'd be talking about the Galaxy vacancy.

But far be it for me to tell teams not to go for instant success. It's worked in Toronto, it's worked for Chivas USA, and it's bound to work in Vancouver. Just check out those parallels between the vows for attacking soccer from when de los Cobos was hired and from Tom Soehn....

Wait, you're capsizing the franchise for the benefit of Tom Soehn? Okay, DC United made a terrible choice in replacing him, too...and he did actually win trophies...but reading a headline from Elijah Miller saying "History says he'll struggle to replicate DC success" should be hugely frightening. Soehn had a lot more talent in the District of Columbia than he will in British Columbia, and...well, it was briefly thought that Curt Onalfo would be an adequate replacement for him.

All this is an object lesson for, among many others, US fans screaming for Bob Bradley's head. Unless you have a very good answer to "Then what?", you could do more harm than good.