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Chris Armas To Be Inducted Into The "Ring Of Fire" Hall Of Fame Tonight

October 22, 2009 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Chicago Fire

CHICAGO, IL (Oct. 22, 2009) - Chicago Fire Soccer will induct former Fire midfielder Chris Armas into the prestigious "Ring of Fire" Hall of Fame tonight, Oct. 22, during a halftime ceremony at the Fire's final 2009 regular season contest against Chivas USA (7 p.m. CT, ESPN2/Deportes). In attendance for the induction will be current "Ring of Fire" members: Chicago Fire technical director Frank Klopas, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley, Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak, and Milwaukee Wave President/CEO Peter Wilt.

After playing two seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1996 and 1997, the Adelphi University alum was acquired by the Chicago Fire prior to the team's inaugural 1998 season. During his first season with the Fire, he helped the MLS expansion side win both the 1998 MLS Cup and the 1998 U.S. Open Cup to capture the coveted "Domestic Double". Through the next nine seasons as a player in Chicago, Armas led the Fire to three more U.S. Open Cup Championships (2000, 2003, 2006) and helped the Fire reach the MLS Cup Finals in 2000 and 2003 as well. The seven-time MLS All-Star finished his decorated playing career in 2007 having tallied 12 goals and 48 assists through 214 games. Armas ranks in the top 5 on the Fire's all-time list with 42 assists (2nd), 13 game-winning assists (2nd), 19,018 minutes played (3rd), 214 games played (3rd), and 212 games started (2nd). In 2008, Armas joined the Chicago Fire coaching staff as an assistant coach under head coach Denis Hamlett, helping the Fire reach the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals.

"We are thrilled to announce Chris Armas as our latest addition to the prestigious 'Ring of Fire'," said Chicago Fire President Dave Greeley. "Chris was a leader on the field and in the locker room, helping to build the Fire's winning tradition since our first season in 1998. He truly displays the qualities of leadership, dedication and integrity that this honor represents."

Armas joins fellow inductees: former Fire captain Peter Nowak, former Fire defender Lubos Kubik, former Fire player and current Fire technical director Frank Klopas, the Fire's first General Manager Peter Wilt, and former Fire head coach and current U.S. Men's National team head coach Bob Bradley.

Armas was also a member of the U.S. Men's National team from 1998 until 2005. While with the team, he helped the U.S. win the CONCACAF Gold Cup twice, in 2002 and 2005.

"As someone who once shared the pitch with Chris, I can say that he exemplifies the Fire's motto of Honor, Tradition and Passion," said Fire technical director and 2004 Ring of Fire inductee, Frank Klopas. "Chris is not only a former teammate, but a friend and I look forward to joining him on the field tonight when he becomes a member of this great Fire tradition."

Armas currently lives in New York state with his wife, Justine, and two sons, Christopher and Aleksei.

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