Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010
The Fire announced today that C.J. Brown will retire at the end of the 2010 season. The last remaining member of the 1998 double-winning team will end his 13-year playing career following the Fires 2010 regular season finale against Chivas USA on Saturday. Brown has appeared in 370 games across all competitions for the Fire, by far the most appearances in the clubs history.
"Making the decision to retire was tough because this team is like a family to me," said CJ Brown. "I've been a part of this club since 1998. I feel like I grew up here in Chicago. My family was formed here - I met my wife in California, but my marriage, my kids - everything has happened here in Chicago. But, I think it's just time for me to move on and do something different in my life. I want to thank the fans, the club, and all the teammates I've played with over the years. You've meant everything to me."
Brown was drafted number one overall in the 1998 MLS Supplemental Draft out of San Jose State University and made an immediate impact on the Fire expansion side, appearing in 17 games during the club's inaugural season. The stout defender helped lead the club to the American "Double," winning MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup in the club's first year.