(HARRISON) The New York Red Bulls announced today that former Chicago Fire defender C.J. Brown has joined the team to fill the assistant coach vacancy left after Jesse Marsch departed the club last week.
Brown and head coach Chris Armas were teammates in Chicago for nearly a decade, winning MLS Cup, the U.S. Open Cup, and the Supporter’s Shield together during their tenure. Brown served as an assistant coach for Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire, New York City FC, and Orlando City SC after retiring as a player in 2010.
The link to the glory days of the Chicago Fire continues for the Red Bulls. Jesse Marsch, Denis Hamlet, Chris Armas, and C.J. Brown were all part of the expansion team that took Major League Soccer by storm in 1998. The former Fire players have all found success in New York, but still are left wanting for the ultimate prize of winning MLS Cup.
The Red Bulls press release below:
The New York Red Bulls have added C.J. Brown to the coaching staff, the club announced today. Brown, a longtime MLS player, joins Chris Armas’ staff with nine years of coaching experience, including eight seasons as an assistant in MLS.
Brown, a native of Eugene, Oregon, enjoyed a 13-year professional career, including 10 seasons alongside Armas with the Chicago Fire. Both were part of the inaugural Fire team that won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup in 1998, and went on to win a Supporters’ Shield and three more U.S. Open Cups as teammates.
“I’m excited to add C.J. to my staff,” said Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas. “From the early days of Major League Soccer, we spent many incredible years together, learning what real teams are about. C.J. is a winner and a great competitor. Those qualities, along with his experience and work ethic, have turned him into a great coach. He knows our conference and league, he knows our team, and he knows what it takes to win. We’re looking forward to getting C.J. quickly integrated with our team and our way of doing things.”
Brown’s time in Chicago included two seasons during Denis Hamlett’s head coaching tenure in 2008 and 2009. Hamlett was also an assistant with the Fire from 1998 through 2007. Brown was the seventh member of Chicago’s Ring of Fire, and the third player inducted. After retiring, the center back immediately transitioned into coaching, including stints with Real Salt Lake, the Chicago Fire, New York City FC, and Orlando City SC.
“As C.J.’s coach, I watched him develop from a good young player into a true leader,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. “He has a great mind for the game, he understands Major League Soccer, and he’s a proven winner. I know his experience will be an asset to Chris and the rest of our staff.”
The New York Red Bulls return home this weekend to host Pride Night, presented by Bayer, against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, July 14. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, with coverage on MSG, MSG GO and Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish. For tickets and more information, visit www.newyorkredbulls.com/pride.