BERLIN — Union Berlin parted ways with coach Urs Fischer on Wednesday after a 14-game winless run in all competitions, and Marie-Louise Eta was elevated to be first female assistant coach in the history of the German men's soccer league.
Eta will assist interim coach Marco Grote. The club said the two were promoted from Union's under-19 men's team “until further notice.”
Eta is set to be on Union's bench for the club's next Champions League game at Portuguese club Braga on Nov. 29.
In his five years in charge, Fischer led Union from the second division to the Bundesliga for the first time and then into European competition. He took the club into the Champions League after placing fourth last season to continue the impressive rise.
However, results this season have been poor and Union has only one draw and 13 losses from its last 14 games in all competitions. Its last win was on Aug. 26.
A 4-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday left Union last in the Bundesliga and without a goal in its last four games in the top division. Four Champions League games have brought one point.
“This is a very sad moment not only for me personally, but certainly for the entire Union family,” Union president Dirk Zingler said in a statement. “It hurts that we have not managed to break the negative run of recent weeks. I am grateful and proud when looking back on the time we have spent and the successes we have celebrated together. As painful as this separation is, Urs Fischer is leaving as a friend who will always be welcomed by us with open arms.”
Zingler said he and Fischer together decided it was time for the Swiss coach to depart.
Fischer said he hoped a change of coach could turn the team around.
“I am very grateful for the confidence I have always felt here. Nevertheless, it feels right to make a change now," Fischer said. "Sometimes a different face, a different way of addressing a team helps to spark a development.”
Playing as Marie-Louise Bagehorn, Eta won the women's Champions League and Bundesliga as a player with Turbine Potsdam. She also won the Under-20 World Cup with the German national team.
Eta joined Union as a coach for this season and assistant coach in Youth League games against teams like Real Madrid and Napoli in UEFA's competition for under-19 teams.
Union's next game in the Bundesliga is at home against Augsburg on Nov. 25.