Chicago, Ill.-----San Jose State University soccer great C.J. Brown, currently playing his 13th season with the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer (MLS), was honored recently for his record-setting 350th game with the club.
Brown joined the Fire in 1998, the year the franchise was formed, as a MLS supplemental draft pick after a San Jose State career that ran from 1994 through 1997.
Now in his 13th season with Chicago, he has played more seasons for one MLS franchise than any player in league history. Only former U.S. team member Cobi Jones played more matches for a MLS organization, 392 in 12 seasons for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"C.J. had a tremendous college career here at SJSU. He was a four-year starter and team captain. He was an excellent 1v1 defender, and had a keen sense of the game," said San Jose State head coach Gary St. Clair who recruited him out of Hayward (Calif.) High. "As a pro, he has had a career that any player would envy, and one that younger players aspire to. His longevity in the game and with the Fire is truly amazing."
Now, 34-years old, he is the MLS career leader in regular season games played and games started and the Fire's career leader in minutes played at over 32,000 minutes. Brown was a MLS all-star selection and played on the U.S. Senior Men's National Team from 1998 through 2003.
"I like to play hard and I think that helps me stay in shape," Brown said recently about his longevity in a local radio interview.
Among Brown's MLS coaches through the years is Bob Bradley, head coach of the U.S. team competing in the 2010 World Cup. Bradley coached Brown his first five seasons in Major League Soccer.