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Chris Armas out as New York Red Bulls head coach

Chris Armas looks on at the Red Bulls

Chris Armas looks on at the Red Bulls practice facility in Whippany, New Jersey on Sept. 6, 2018. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Chris Armas’ time as head coach of the New York Red Bulls is over.

The club announced Friday it had parted ways with the Long Islander effective immediately, with assistant coach CJ Brown also departing the club. The Red Bulls did not name a replacement but said they expect to do so in the coming days.

The club is 3-4-2 in a fragmented 2020 season, sitting on the playoff bubble at seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

In a statement, Red Bulls head of sport Kevin Thelwell thanked Armas for his “hard work and dedication to the club,” citing on-field results as the reason for the change.

“In this business, we have to make difficult decisions based on performances and, fundamentally, results,” Thelwell said. “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.”

Armas, who grew up in Brentwood and graduated from Adelphi University and St. Anthony’s High School, exits the Red Bulls after five years at the club, joining as an assistant under Jesse Marsch in 2015. When Marsch left in July 2018 to work with the Red Bulls’ sister clubs in Germany and later Austria, Armas took the reins as head coach and led the New York side to a 12-3-3 run to win the 2018 Supporters’ Shield. The Red Bulls were unable to capitalize in the playoffs, losing to eventual champion Atlanta United FC over two legs in the Eastern Conference finals.

In the nearly two years since, Armas’ Red Bulls have been unable to replicate the form that earned them a trophy. In Armas' only complete season as head coach, the 2019 Red Bulls finished 14-6-14 (48 points) for the No. 6 seed and fell to Philadelphia in the opening round of the MLS Cup playoffs.

In the segmented 2020 season, the normally high-energy Red Bulls have struggled to break down teams offensively, scoring just seven goals through nine matches. They were sent home early from the MLS is Back Tournament after one win in three group matches. The club beat rival New York City FC in their first match of MLS’ in-market restart last month, but has picked up just one point in three matches since, including a late-stoppage time loss to D.C. United on Wednesday.

New York Sports