Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew sacked Polish head coach Robert Warzycha on Monday, the team said in a statement.
The former Everton midfielder was in his fifth season in charge of the Crew who are currently eight points outside of the playoff positions in MLS's Eastern Conference with eight regular season matches remaining.
Warzycha played for the Crew from 1996 to 2002 when he moved into an assistant coaching role at the Ohio club and later moved up to head coach.
Technical director Brian Bliss was named as the team's new head coach on an 'interim' basis, the Crew said.
"This is a difficult decision that has not been taken lightly," Crew president Mark McCullers said in the statement.
"Robert has been a loyal and dedicated member of this organization for 18 years.
"He will always be part of the Crew family, and he deserves our respect and acknowledgement for the sacrifices he has made, his numerous accomplishments and all that he has contributed to this club, both as a player and a coach."
Warzycha's contract was due to run out at the end of this season.