The Red Bulls have promoted Chris Armas to Head Coach, effective immediately, as Jesse Marsch has left the organization to pursue other opportunities.
“We are fully supportive of Jesse and his decision to pursue a new opportunity,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. “Jesse played a large role in establishing our club identity, but the culture here is the result of the dedication and hard work of many. We are confident in Chris Armas. We know Chris and the coaching staff will have our team ready to compete each week, and they will continue to find ways to improve and work towards our ultimate goal of winning MLS Cup.”
“On behalf of the entire organization, I’d like to thank Jesse for what he helped build here over the last few years,” said General Manager Marc de Grandpre. “Chris has emerged as a leader in his own right, and embodies our core values on and off the field. We are excited for him to take this opportunity and know he will perfectly represent our club.”
The longest-tenured coach in MetroStars/Red Bulls history, Marsch departs after three and a half seasons in New York, during which he became the winningest coach in franchise history with a record of 58-35-25.
Marsch led the club to the 2015 Supporters’ Shield, a U.S. Open Cup Final appearance, and two trips to the Concacaf Champions League, including a semifinal appearance in 2018. Under Marsch, the Red Bulls made the MLS Cup Playoffs three times, with two first-place finishes in the Eastern Conference standings.
Armas, a native New Yorker, becomes the 16th head coach in franchise history. The former U.S. international joined the Red Bulls staff in February of 2015 after time as the head coach of the Adelphi University women’s soccer team and as an assistant on Denis Hamlett’s staff with the Chicago Fire.
Armas played 10 of his 12 MLS seasons in Chicago, where he led the Fire to an MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup double in 1998, a Supporters’ Shield (2003), three more Open Cups (2000, 2003, 2006), and two more MLS Cup Final appearances.
The midfielder was a six-time MLS All-Star and is one of just four players in MLS history to earn Best XI distinction five times, second only to Landon Donovan’s seven. Armas was named U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2000 and totaled 66 appearances for the National Team, featuring heavily for the U.S. teams that won the 2002 and 2005 Gold Cups.
Armas steps into the head coaching role with the Red Bulls in second place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-4-2, with 32 points, after a 1-0 win in Toronto on Sunday night. The Red Bulls have just one loss in their last 10 matches.
His first game is a Hudson River Derby match against New York City Football Club at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night at 7 p.m.