Chicago Fire FC hires CJ Brown as an assistant coach

WGN News Now

CHICAGO – As the club looks to return to its glory days, they’ve brought someone back who had a lot to do with that.

This week, Chicago Fire FC made official the hiring of club legend C.J. Brown as an assistant coach on new manager Ezra Hendrickson’s first staff with the club. He comes to the franchise after serving as the technical director and manager of Chicago House AC, a franchise in the NISA which played its first season in 2021 at SeatGeek Stadium.

“I am truly honored to be back with Chicago Fire and a part of Ezra Hendrickson’s coaching staff,” said Brown. “I am excited for Ezra. I know he has been working hard for this moment in his career. I am grateful to be a part of this journey with Ezra and the team. I will do all that I can to live out the Tradition, Honor, and Passion of this Club.”

It will be the second stint as a coach with the Fire for Brown, having also served as an assistant with the club in 2014 under manager Frank Yallop. As a player, the center back was one of the greatest to ever don the uniform of the club in its 25 years of existence in Major League Soccer.

Brown, the No. 1 overall pick in 1998 MLS Supplemental Draft, played in a club-record 372 matches for the club from 1999-2010, making 364 starts while playing 32,538 minutes. He played a big part in the club’s only MLS title in 1998 along with four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championships and the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2003.

In 2012, Brown was elected into the club’s Hall of Fame: “The Ring of Fire.”

He began his coaching career with Real Salt Lake in 2011 after his retirement and had stops with New York City FC, Orlando City SC, and the New York Red Bulls before taking the role with Chicago House AC in 2021. In international play, Brown was an assistant coach for the U-23 USMNT in the 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.

“I am truly honored to be back with Chicago Fire and a part of Ezra Hendrickson’s coaching staff,” said Brown in a statement released by the club. “I am excited for Ezra. I know he has been working hard for this moment in his career. I am grateful to be a part of this journey with Ezra and the team. I will do all that I can to live out the Tradition, Honor, and Passion of this Club.”

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