CJ Will Be Missed

Daily Herald: Retiring Brown was Fire icon

C.J. Brown was there.

When the Fire held its first practices in 1998 at the Moody Bible Institute field in Chicago, C.J. Brown was there. When the Fire practiced that first season at the Bears' old Lake Forest College training facility, C.J. Brown was there, staying late with an assistant coach, solitary figures on the field practicing headers.

When the Fire played its first game as an expansion team at the Miami Fusion, C.J. Brown was there. When 36,444 fans filed into Soldier Field on April 4, 1998, to watch the Fire's first home game, against the Tampa Bay Mutiny, C.J. Brown was there.

When the Fire won the MLS Cup in Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 1998, C.J. Brown was there. When the Fire won the U.S. Open Cup a few days later at Soldier Field, C.J. Brown was there. When the Fire lost the MLS Cup to Kansas City at RFK Stadium in 2000, C.J. Brown was there.

When the Fire played at North Central College in Naperville while Soldier Field was being reconstructed in 2002 and 2003, C.J. Brown was there. When the Fire moved back to Soldier Field on Oct. 10, 2003, C.J. Brown was there.

To read the rest of this story, visit the Daily Herald.