Chicago Fire alumni continued their northern expedition Thursday as club legend Chris Armas was named as an assistant coach for the New York Red Bulls.
Armas joins former Fire teammate and Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch in New York as the team looks to regroup following the exodus of Thierry Henry and former coach Mike Petke. Marsch and Armas will look to replicate the success they had in Chicago on the pitch as the two combined for 414 appearances and were part of the 1998 MLS Cup team.
Armas was the true King of the Cup, playing for the Fire in all four successful runs while Marsch was a part of three of the championships. Armas also registered 66 caps for the U.S. national team. While duplicating their success as teammates is unlikely, it is going to be a little more difficult to hate the Red Bulls knowing two Fire staples are calling the shots from the sidelines.
The union in New York now creates a second MLS team with a heavy Fire influence north of Chicago. The Montreal Impact feature Frank Klopas, Justin Mapp, Bakary Soumare, Dominic Oduro and Dilly Duka - who recently scored an unexplainable brace in Mexico during Champions League competition.
So congratulations to the Fire for slowly infesting the rest of the league and congratulations to Armas. May your stint be as successful as your brief time as an assistant coach for the Fire in 2008, but not quite as successful as your playing years.