New York City FC is pleased to announce the addition of CJ Brown to the coaching staff ahead of the 2015 inaugural season.
Brown, an integral member of Real Salt Lake's coaching team between 2011 and 2013, will be reunited with NYCFC Head Coach Jason Kreis and Assistant Coach Miles Joseph.
Following the 2013 season, Brown returned to Chicago Fire, where as a player he won four U.S. Open Cups and one MLS Cup in his 372 appearances for the club. Brown is a member of the Chicago Fire's Hall of Fame and also won the Chicago Fire/USSF Humanitarian of the Year award from 2001 to 2003 for his efforts in the local community. Brown also made 15 appearances for US Soccer between 1998 and 2003.
“I see this as a rare opportunity to be part of building a club from the ground up,” Brown told NYCFC.com on making the move to New York City. “It's an experience and challenge that most coaches don't get during their career, particularly not at a project as exciting as this one. There is so much potential at this club, it’s a blank slate at the moment but we could do something very special for soccer in this country.”
Brown was assistant coach to Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake City during one of the club's most successful periods. In 2011, Salt Lake became the first MLS team to ever reach the CONCACAF Champions League Finals, only narrowly losing to Mexican club Monterrey 3–2 on aggregate in the final.
“One of the many reasons I decided to join NYCFC was that I already know the coaching staff. I've worked with Jason and Miles before and we had a fantastic relationship and understanding,” said Brown. “I know what it takes to work for Jason and what he expects from his players and his coaches. He has a strong coaching philosophy and it's one that I agree with.”
Brown, a central defender throughout his playing career, says he will coach all areas of the field. “Jason doesn’t like to define his coaches to specific roles, he wants us to contribute to all areas of the team and that’s something I personally really enjoy and am looking forward to. Jason is a very meticulous manager, he has a certain style of soccer that he likes to see and wants us to play, and he goes the extra mile to find players that can fit into that system.”
“I'm impressed with the players we already have on the roster, its already looking very strong. I actually played with Kwame at Chicago Fire before I retired so it will be great to see him and work with him again.”
In 2013, Brown returned to Chicago Fire, the only club he played for in his career taking part in an impressive 13 consecutive seasons.
“Leaving Chicago Fire is very difficult,” Brown admitted. “This will be my second time leaving a club that has been a major influence on my life. I have a good relationship with everyone at the Club and I truly appreciate all of the Chicago fans, they welcomed me back and it's always been fun. But having an opportunity like this, to work with one of my former coaches and play a part in creating history here, is something very special.”
Jason Kreis was keen to stress what a fantastic coach Brown has proven himself to be since retiring as a player in 2010. “I’m delighted that CJ has accepted the offer to join NYCFC,” said Kreis.
“He is an exceptional coach as he has proven during his time at Salt Lake and Chicago Fire, and is hugely respected within the game. CJ understands that what we’re trying to achieve here is very exciting and knows he could play an important part of that from the very beginning.”
“There is a lot of hard work ahead for the coaching team. CJ will join myself, Miles and the rest of the sporting department as soon as possible to help build the roster ahead of pre-season in January.”
“CJ has fantastic experience in MLS having spent his whole career playing and coaching in the league. That knowledge and experience will be very useful to us. We had some great times together at Real Salt Lake City and I’m sure we can replicate the same success at New York City FC.”