New York Red Bulls hire Chicago Fire legend C.J. Brown as assistant coach

The New York Red Bulls have hired former Chicago Fire star C.J. Brown as an assistant coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Brown, 43, fills the spot vacated when Chris Armas was promoted to head coach on Friday. Armas took the top job after the resignation of Jesse Marsch, who left to take an assistant coach position with Red Bull Leipzig, a team in Germany's Bundesliga that also is owned by the Austrian company Red Bull.

Brown played from 1998-2007 alongside new boss Armas with the Fire, where both players were members of the first-ever Fire team -- one that won the MLS Cup in 1998. Additionally, the pair won three U.S. Open Cups together.

"I'm excited to add C.J. to my staff," Armas said in a statement. "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 was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 MLS Supplemental Draft and immediately became a team mainstay on Chicago's back line. He appeared in a franchise-record 249 games and was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2012.

After his retirement in 2010, Brown has spent eight seasons in the MLS as an assistant coach with Real Salt Lake, Chicago, New York FC and Orlando City.

The Red Bulls currently sit in third place in the East with 32 points with three games in hand on the conference leader, Atlanta United.