Photo courtesy of Chicago-Fire.com.
Chicago Fire legend C.J. Brown has decided to resign as the club’s Assistant Coach in favor of joining his former boss Jason Kreis on the sideline for New York City FC’s inaugural 2015 season. Brown spent just one season as an assistant under current Fire Head Coach Frank Yallop before informing the club of his decision to leave.
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As a player, Brown spent 13 seasons in MLS, all with Chicago. As a member of four US Open Cup winners and one MLS Cup winner, he was inducted into the club’s Ring of Fire hall of fame.
“I have made a very difficult decision to leave the Fire. My family is very sad about leaving a place we consider our home, but I have been given a chance that I cannot pass up,” said Brown in a statement released by the Fire.
“With this being said, I want to thank Frank Yallop and Andrew Hauptman for all they did to bring me back to the Fire and giving me an amazing opportunity with an incredible club. You opened the doors to my family and me as if we never left. I am truly thankful for that. I had a great experience with the Fire, will always be a fan and I will never forget the great memories here as a player and a coach. I wish the Chicago Fire Soccer Club nothing but the best in the future,” he went on to add.
"“It’s disappointing to lose C.J. from our coaching staff,” said Yallop. “C.J. was a valuable part of what we are doing here and I have great appreciation for the work he put into this club over the past season. As we wish him well in his next endeavor, our club remains focused on seeing our plans come together. We look forward to the campaign ahead.”"
After serving as an assistant under Kreis at Real Salt Lake from 2011-2013, a chance to re-join him in New York was an irresistible opportunity. The two remained connected after NYCFC lured Kreis away from RSL, and the pair shouldn’t miss a beat on the sidelines for a new club.
As for the Fire, a team official said that a search to replace Brown would begin in the near future.