The Chicago Fire and head coach Veljko Paunovic agreed on a two-year contract extension with a third-year club option, the team announced Thursday.

Paunovic, 41, had finished the three-year deal he signed when he joined the Fire in 2016. His new deal runs through 2020, with the team option for 2021. The team's staff will also remain intact.

"We believe the foundation we are setting and the standards we are demanding are the right ones in developing our championship program," general manager Nelson Rodriguez said in a statement. "Continuity is a critical element in that process and retaining Pauno for the next few years as a leader in that effort was an important offseason objective."

Paunovic is 31-46-25 through three seasons with Chicago, including 8-18-8 this season.

"I feel excited about this project as I was the very first day three years ago when I became a part of the Chicago Fire football family," Paunovic added in a statement. "I'm also very grateful for this new opportunity with the club and the values that I'm fully aligned and committed to representing in every city and field around the globe and US.

"I want to thank our fans for their passion, support and their devotion. My special thanks go for our ownership and GM Nelson Rodriguez, who have been giving us the direction and all their support in good and bad times. It's all about the conviction, trust and unity. Get ready to lift the trophy this year."

The Serbian had previously coached his home country's youth national teams, most notably winning the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup title.

--Field Level Media

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