Chicago, Ill. - San Jose State University soccer great and former Major League Soccer Chicago Fire defender C.J. Brown will be honored by having his name placed on the team's Ring of Fire in Toyota Park on May 9.
"Honestly I've been trying to figure out words to describe it since [Andell Managing Director] Javier Leon called to tell me," Brown told Chicago-Fire.com earlier this week. "It's obviously a huge honor to be considered and be put in the Ring with (Peter Nowak, Lubos Kubik, Frank Klopas, Chris Armas, Bob Bradley and Peter Wilt)."
Brown ended his 13-year career in Major League Soccer in 2010. He played for only one club, the Chicago Fire, and helped the club capture six domestic championships.
He retired as one of the most respected and consistent center backs in MLS history. Brown logged a club-record 372 appearances in a Fire jersey and holds the club record with 25,738 minutes played. He also holds club records for MLS (296), playoff (35) and U.S. Open Cup (25) appearances. He won one MLS Cup (1998), four U.S. Open Cups and the 2003 Supporters' Shield.
He played his collegiate career at San Jose State that ran from 1994 through 1997. He finished with 11 points (5 goals and 1 assist) and was named a two-time All-Conference Player, in 1995 and 1996.
After playing for the Spartans, the Bay Area native began his professional career with the USISL's (United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues) San Francisco Bay Seals in 1995. Brown joined the Fire in 1998, the year the franchise was formed, as a first-round MLS supplemental draft pick. 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.
"This is an incredible honor for C.J.", San Jose State men's soccer head coach Gary St. Clair said. "It is symbolic of the career he had for the Fire and the impact he had in Chicago. Everyone associated with Spartans men's soccer could not be happier for him."