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LI’s Chris Armas named new Red Bulls head coach

New York Red Bulls assistant coach Chris Armas during the team's media day in New York on March 3, 2015. / AP / Kathy Willens

The winningest coach in New York Red Bulls history is leaving the club, and a Long Islander is taking the reins.

Jesse Marsch has departed the organization to pursue other opportunities, the team said Friday in a news release.

Chris Armas, a graduate of St. Anthony’s High School and an assistant under Marsch since 2015, has been promoted to head coach.

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“We are fully supportive of Jesse and his decision to pursue a new opportunity,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett in a press release. “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.”

According to multiple reports, Marsch has been in discussion with the Red Bulls’ parent company to join German Bundesliga team RB Leipzig.

Jesse Marsch speaks at a press conference following the Red Bulls' victory over NYCFC on May 5, 2018 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

The Red Bulls thrived in 3 ½ seasons under Marsch, winning the 2015 Supporters’ Shield and appearing in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup final. Marsch also led his team to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals this year. His 58-35-25 record is best in franchise history.

Armas takes over with a wide range of experience originating on Long Island. A star midfielder at Adelphi, Armas played for the Long Island Roughriders before joining the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire of MLS. He won the 1998 MLS Cup and four U.S. Open Cup titles with the Fire. He also made 66 appearances for the United States men’s national team, winning two Gold Cups, and spent four seasons as head coach of the Adelphi women’s soccer team.

“We are confident in Chris Armas,” Hamlett said. “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.”