The Red Bulls had a 3-4-2 record under Chris Armas this season. (Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Chris Armas is out as Red Bulls head coach.
The MLS club Friday morning announced they had parted ways with Armas, effective immediately.
Assistant coach CJ Brown has also departed the team, the Red Bulls said.
While many MLS teams say they and coaches have parted ways, it usually means they have been fired.
An interim head coach will be named in the coming days, the Red Bulls said.
It was not immediately known who will direct the team when the Red Bulls host the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena Saturday night (MSG, 7 p.m.).
“On behalf of the organization, I’d like to thank Chris for his hard work and dedication to the club,” Red Bulls head of sport Kevin Thelwell said in a statement. “In this business, we have to make difficult decisions based on performances and, fundamentally, results. At this time, it’s my decision that we must go in a different direction in order to meet the ambitions we have for our football club. We wish Chris and CJ all the best in their future endeavors.
“We will conduct a wide, thorough search for our next head coach.”
The Red Bulls have been inconsistent at best this season, punchless on the attack, at worst. They fell to 3-4-2 after a disastrous 1-0 result to struggling D.C. United at RBA Wednesday night, despite dominating play and outshooting the visitors, 17-5. No Red Bulls forward has found the net yet this season, an astounding stat after nine matches.
As for who will become interim or permanent head coach, one possible name is Red Bulls II boss John Wolyniec, a former Red Bulls forward and one of the most popular players in club history.
Armas, a former U.S. international midfielder who celebrated his 48th birthday Aug. 27, replaced Jesse Marsch as head man in July 2018. The team finished 12-3-3 run under the Brentwood, N.Y. native and won the Supporters’ Shield. Though they were favored to win the MLS Cup, the Red Bulls were eliminated by Atlanta United in another underachieving postseason.
The Red Bulls were 29-21-11 under Armas.
Thewell, who took over his role earlier this year, has made a statement who is in charge of the team with Armas’ dismissal. He is in a higher position that sporting director Denis Hamlett and there must be speculation whether the former Chicago Fire head coach’s position is safe.