Chris Armas’ first game as Red Bulls head coach will be against NYCFC Sunday. ( Photo)

By Michael Lewis Editor

The Red Bulls have a new boss Friday morning as assistant coach Chris Armas was promoted to head coach replacing Jesse Marsch, effectively immediately.

Armas became the 16th coach in the Red Bulls’ 23-year history.

Marsch, who had directed the club since the 2015 Major League Soccer season, has left the team to pursue other opportunities, the organization said.

He reportedly had been in negotiations to join Red Bull Leipzig in the Bundesliga in some capacity.

“We are fully supportive of Jesse and his decision to pursue a new opportunity,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said. “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.”

Armas, whose first game as head coach will be Sunday’s Hudson River Derby at New York City FC, is expected to continue the high-pressure system that Marsch has used since 2015.

Chris Armas First Interview as Head Coach of RBNY

"It's a dream come true, and I'm really excited."Watch Chris Armas in his first interview as Head Coach of the New York Red Bulls

Posted by New York Red Bulls on Friday, July 6, 2018

Video courtesy of the Red Bulls Facebook page

A Brentwood, N.Y. native, Armas was regarded as the best defensive midfielder in MLS during his tenure. He attended Adelphi University and was a mainstay on the Long Island Rough Riders’ team that captured the U.S. Interregional Soccer League crown in 1995.

After a stellar 10-year career with the LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire, Armas became an assistant coach with the latter before guiding the Adelphi University women’s team. He joined the Red Bulls staff in 2015

He helped 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. He also was a six-time MLS all-star and is one of four players in league  history to earn Best XI distinction five times, second only to Landon Donovan’s seven.

Armas made 66 appearances for the U.S. national side, but never played in the World Cup due to knee injuries suffered before the 2002 and 2006 competitions.

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