REAL SALT LAKE ADDS MLS VETERAN C.J. BROWN TO COACHING STAFF
Long-time Member of Chicago Fire Backline to Join RSL Technical Staff in Time for Club’s Preseason;
New Assistant Coach to Appear on Today’s Edition of ESPN 700’s “Bill & Spence” at 2:40 p.m. MT
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, January 18, 2011) – Real Salt Lake General Manager/V.P. of Soccer Operations Garth Lagerwey today announced that veteran MLS defender C.J. Brown has been added to the Utah side’s Technical Staff as an assistant coach, filling the vacancy left when Robin Fraser assumed the head coaching duties at Chivas USA on January 4. The 35-year-old Brown, who ended his 13-year career in Major League Soccer following the 2010 campaign, will join the Claret-and-Cobalt in time for their opening training camp, which will begin Sunday at the Grande Sports World complex in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Real Salt Lake supporters can get instant reaction from their team’s newest assistant coach this afternoon on the “Home of RSL,” ESPN 700 Sports, as Brown will join hosts Bill Riley and Spencer Checketts for an interview on the “Bill and Spence” program today at 2:40 p.m. MT.
Brown’s addition to the Real Salt Lake staff allows the 2009 MLS Cup championship side to keep its distinction as the lone Technical Staff across the now 18-team League comprised solely of MLS alumni, joining Lagerwey, Head Coach Jason Kreis, and fellow assistant coaches Jeff Cassar and Miles Joseph. The five-man RSL braintrust now boasts cumulative MLS playing experience (regular season and playoffs) of 74,811 total minutes – spanning 923 games across 47 seasons – and eight domestic championships (one MLS Cup and seven Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups), giving the staff the unparalleled ability to tap into personal experience as it guides, assists and develops the current RSL roster.
“I’m very excited to be joining a top-notch organization in Real Salt Lake,” said Brown. “This opportunity could not have come about any better, going from a great club during my playing days and then moving on to begin my coaching career with an excellent team and great coaching staff in Jason, Jeff, and Miles. It will be tough filling Robin Fraser’s shoes, but I’m excited for the challenge because there are so many good things happening at Real Salt Lake. Jason has expressed that he is looking for hard workers, and that’s what I’m about, so I think it’s going to be a very good fit.”
Brown retired from the playing field last October as one of the most respected and consistent center backs in MLS history, compiling nearly 300 regular season appearances as a member of the Chicago Fire from 1998-2010. Known as one of the League’s most dependable and cerebral defenders, his 296 games played (T-13th); 290 starts (T-7th); and 25,738 minutes played (8th) all rank towards the top of the MLS record books – and are indeed atop the Fire’s career charts.
"We are happy to add another long time MLS player and U.S. international to our staff. In making this hire we wanted to keep our ethos intact, and we think C.J. will fit in wonderfully with our approach to the game and how we value our players,” said Lagerwey. “Our staff works very hard, and his mentality during his interview was impressive in this regard. C.J. is a winner, and we think he is going to bring the same resolve, consistency, fight, and determination to our quest to win CONCACAF and MLS Cup in his new coaching role that he did playing for some great teams in Chicago.”
The last remaining “Fire Original” from the team’s 1998 inaugural campaign also played an integral part in all five of the Chicago’s domestic championships, as Brown helped lead the “Men in Red” to the 1998 MLS Cup and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (1998, 2000 2003, and 2006), in addition to a spot in the 2003 MLS Cup final. The 2001 MLS All-Star would also finish his career among the League’s top 10 with 35 MLS Cup Playoff starts (T-5th) in as many appearances (T-7th).
“C.J. has been a highly respected defender in our league for a very long time,” said Kreis, who went head-to-head against Brown on 17 occasions during their playing days. “He has shown what loyalty, professionalism, hard work, and dedication can get you in our league as a player, and I am certain that he will bring those same qualities to his coaching. We are extremely excited to be adding not only a terrific soccer mind to our staff, but also a terrific man that truly wants to succeed at this new challenge in his life.”
Upon finishing his collegiate career at San Jose State, the Bay Area native stayed close to home to begin his road to a professional career with the USISL’s San Francisco Bay Seals, playing the first two of his three years with the side as an amateur. A run to the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals in 1997 by the Bay Seals would serve as Brown’s coming out party to MLS, and the then-expansion Fire would take the talented center back with the first selection in the 1998 Supplemental Draft. In addition to his standout MLS career, Brown would catch the attention of the U.S. National Team program, making 15 “caps” for the Red, White & Blue’s senior squad between 1998 and 2003.
Brown is no stranger to the coaching ranks, with stints as the Assistant Director of Coaching for the Chicago Fire Juniors and the Director of Coaching for the Elmhurst (Ill.) Elite youth clubs counting among the several youth coaching positions he held since beginning his professional career in 1998. Brown has already acquired his National “B” License for coaching from the United States Soccer Federation and is planning on beginning to work towards the USSF “A” License in the next 12-18 months.
The Hayward, Calif., native will bring his family in tow to the Wasatch Front, consisting of his wife, Kim – whom he married one day after winning the U.S. Open Cup title in October 2000 – and two daughters, Canessa (6) and Kali (5).
Fans can secure their seats now for both Real Salt Lake’s March 1 CONCACAF Quarterfinal Leg Two fixture against the Columbus Crew and its March 26 MLS home opener against the Los Angeles Galaxy via the “RSL 2011 2-Pack” (beginning at just $80) and the “RSL 2011 Flex 10-Pack” (beginning at $200). Both of these special ticket offers, in addition to RSL 2011 Season Ticket Packages, can be purchased online at www.RealSaltLake.com, over the phone at 801-727-2700, or in person at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office during regular business hours: 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. MT.
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake names ex-MLS defender C.J. Brown as its new Assistant Coach.