Well, that didn’t take long.
Just a couple days after Chris Armas was named as head coach of the New York Red Bulls, it appears that a frontrunner to join the coaching staff has emerged. Metro has learned from multiple team and league sources that C.J. Brown, a former teammate of Armas with the Chicago Fire, is the top candidate for the position.
One source said that “negotiations are advanced and that [Brown] is going to join” the Red Bulls coaching staff. Though a team spokesman the Red Bulls declined to comment when reached by Metro.
The move certainly adds up. Marsch, who left last week to join the coaching staff of sister club RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, was a teammate of Armas and Brown in Chicago, where they won an MLS Cup and multiple U.S. Open Cups. The Red Bulls sporting director, Denis Hamlett, was a part of the Fire’s coaching staff during that era and knows the trio of Marsch, Armas and Brown well.
Brown’s resume is certainly among the best central defenders in the history of MLS.
A veteran MLS player, Brown’s strong play in the league led to 15 international caps with the United States national team. He played the entirety of his professional career in MLS with the Fire, amassing just shy of 300 league appearances. Brown is a member of the Fire’s ‘Ring of Honor’ (so too is Armas).
He has bounced around the league as an assistant coach, including a year with New York City FC in 2015 and most recently three years under Jason Kreis at Orlando City.
The promotion of Armas, who had been an assistant under Marsch with the Red Bulls since 2015, left a vacancy on the team’s coaching staff. In a corresponding move, Bradley Carnell, the former South African international, was bumped up to being the top assistant under Armas. Now Brown would potentially slide into Carnell’s former role on the bench.
The news of Brown’s candidacy for the role comes just a couple of days after the Red Bulls lost 1-0 to NYCFC on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, marking a difficult debut for Armas as the team’s head coach.