Fire part ways with Briones, Matkovich

Move potentially opens door for retiredBrown in coaching position

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire announced Thursday evening they are parting ways with first assistant Mike Matkovich and fitness coach Alvaro Briones.

The moves open up two spots on Chicago’s coaching staff – one of which could potentially be filled by recently retired defender C.J. Brown.

“I want to get a shot in MLS as a coach,” Brown said after announcing his retirement last Thursday.  “I think I can help guys become better professionals and I feel like I’ve been in the league long enough to know what it takes to win. I think I can help out.”

Brown wouldn’t be the first former Fire player to retire and then join the coaching staff. Former Chicago midfielder Chris Armas retired after the 2007 season and was hired as an assistant before the start of the 2008 campaign. Armas left the staff after just one season. 

Matkovich replaced Armas in January 2009. The Chicago-area native stayed on staff after head coach Carlos de los Cobos took over for former head man Denis Hamlett a year later. 

Briones was brought to Chicago by de los Cobos in January of this year.

“This was a difficult decision for the club to make," Fire technical director Frank Klopas said in a statement. "Everyone at the Fire has tremendous respect for Mike and Alvaro, however, we have decided to go in another direction.”

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