Fire name assistant coaches

CHICAGO -- Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovich will return to the Chicago Fire as assistant coaches for the 2012 season, the team announced on Friday. The two full-time assistant coaches will serve under Frank Klopas, who was named head coach on Nov. 3.

Matkovich, 49, previously served as a Fire assistant coach from 2009-10, but spent 2011 as the director of coaching for the Chicago Fire Juniors-South and as an assistant coach for the team’s Academy sides. Hailing from Frankfort, Ill., Matkovich’s first job with the Fire was as head coach of the Chicago Fire PDL from 2002-06. He held assistant coaching positions with Toronto FC in 2007 and with Percovich at Chivas USA in 2008.

For Percovich, 43, this will be his second season as an assistant coach with the Fire.

A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, Percovich is a former Copa Libertadores and Uruguayan First Division champion who joined Toronto FC as an assistant coach in 2009, after serving as a goalkeeper coach with the Colorado Rapids and Chivas USA.

Klopas, the team’s first technical director from 2008-2011, was appointed interim head coach in late May after a 1-4-6 start led to the firing of coach Carlos de los Cobos. The Fire finished the season 8-5-10 under Klopas, narrowly missing the playoffs.

The Fire open the season Mar. 17 in Montreal and will host the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park in their home opener on Mar. 24.