Ring of Fire Honorees

The “Ring of Fire” tribute began in 2003 in an effort to honor members of the Chicago Fire who have made the team a successful organization and who displayed the qualities the club embodies: leadership, dedication and integrity. The Fire’s unique Hall of Fame – the first created by a Major League Soccer club – began in 2003, when Fire midfielder and captain Peter Nowak became the inaugural member. The Chicago Fire, in consultation with the current “Ring of Fire” members, select the next honoree.

Nowak chose a hometown hero to be added into the select group in 2004 by nominating Fire forward and Chicago native Frank Klopas. Former Fire defender Lubos Kubik was then bestowed the honor in 2005, while in 2006 the award went full circle with the induction of Peter Wilt. In 2007, former head coach Bob Bradley was selected to join former Fire alumni in recognition for being the club's winningest coach of all time. In 2009, the Fire inducted MLS Original, 1998 MLS Cup Winner and seven-time MLS All-Star Chris Armas into the “Ring of Fire.” The club then inducted the its longest tenured player and winner of six domestic championships C.J. Brown in 2012, and most recently added Ante Razov's jersey to the group in 2015.

In honor of each inductee, a banner with each member’s name is emblazoned upon a large, jersey-style banner displayed on the east side of TOYOTA PARK. Click the drop-down menus below each inductee to learn more about their career with the Fire.

Piotr Nowak
INDUCTED: June 28, 2003 at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, IL
As the Fire’s first-ever international player signing in December of 1997, big things were expected from Nowak, the fiery ex-captain of the Polish National Team and veteran of the German Bundesliga. Nowak exceeded all expectations in the club’s inaugural season of 1998, leading by example with his intelligent and gritty play and natural leadership abilities. Nowak capped his incredible first season with the club by earning MVP honors in the Fire’s 1998 MLS Cup victory and just days later capturing the “double” with a win over the Columbus Crew in the 1998 U.S. Open Cup. Nowak also led the Fire to another Open Cup title in 2000 before retiring in 2002.
Watch: Heineken Fire Legends | Peter Nowak
Frank Klopas
INDUCTED: June 5, 2004 at Soldier Field - Chicago, IL
Klopas was signed by the Fire in 1998 and given a chance to end his professional career where it began – in his hometown. “Kid” Klopas played 40 games and scored 17 points on six goals and five assists for the “Men in Red” during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Klopas ended the Fire’s inaugural season in dramatic fashion with what still ranks as one of the club’s most memorable moments on October 30, 1998, as his “golden goal” in overtime gave Chicago a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew in front of a rabid hometown crowd at Soldier Field.
Watch: Heineken Fire Legends | Frank Klopas
Lubos Kubik
INDUCTED: August 6, 2005 at Soldier Field - Chicago, IL
After success in some of Europe’s top leagues and internationally for his native Czechoslovakia, Kubik brought his skills to the Fire when he was signed on February 19, 1998. The Czech’s steady presence on the ball, lethal left foot and world-class marking ability made him an instant leader and one of the most skillful players to ever take the field in Major League Soccer. Kubik’s remarkable 1998 season ended with the defender receiving several accolades, including the 1998 Fire Defender of the Year and 1998 BIC MLS Tough Defender of the Year awards and a spot on the 1998 MLS Best XI Team.
Watch: Heineken Fire Legends | Lubos Kubik
Peter Wilt
INDUCTED: July 22, 2006 at SeatGeek Stadium - Bridgeview, IL
Peter Wilt was the founding general manager and long time president of the Chicago Fire who set the standard for expansion franchises on and off the field in 1998. Under Wilt, the Fire earned a spot in seven domestic Cup Finals in the clubs first eight seasons. The Fire captured four championships (MLS Cup in 1998 and the U.S. Open Cup in 1998, 2000 and 2003), three division titles (2000, 2001 and 2003) and the Supporters Shield in 2003 during his tenure. Wilt guided the organization throughmoves from Soldier Field to Cardinal Stadium in Naperville and back to the renovated Soldier Field. He also led efforts to develop and design TOYOTA PARK in Bridgeview, Illinois, the first 100% publicly funded soccer stadium in Major League Soccer.
Bob Bradley
INDUCTED: August 4 2007, at SeatGeek Stadium - Bridgeview, IL
Bradley patrolled the Fire sideline from the team’s inaugural season in 1998 until 2002, posting an impressive record of 82-54-15 during the club’s first five years. The former Fire boss also led the “Men in Red” to three championship victories in that time: the 1998 MLS Cup and the 1998 and 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups. With Bradley at the helm, Chicago also finished atop the Central Division in the 2000 and 2001 campaigns. While with the Fire, Bradley’s 82 victories made him the winningest coach in MLS history, a title he still holds today with 124 MLS career wins overall through nine seasons, including stints with the MetroStars (2003-2005) and Chivas USA (2006).
Watch: Heineken Fire Legends | Bob Bradley
Chris Armas
INDUCTED: October 22, 2009 at SeatGeek Stadium - Bridgeview, IL
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. 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 Denis Hamlett, helping the Fire reach the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals.
Read: 15th Anniversary Q&A
Read: "What ever happened to..." Chris Armas
C.J. Brown
INDUCTED: May 9, 2012 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, IL
The longest-serving member of the Chicago Fire, defender C.J. Brown won over the hearts of the club’s supporters through his grit, hard work and dedication to always playing for the badge during his 13 seasons in the Windy City. The club’s all-time leader in competitive (372), MLS regular season (296), MLS Cup playoff (35) and U.S. Open Cup (26) appearances, Brown retired in 2010 as the last remaining “Fire Original” from the inaugural 1998 double-winning side. Captain of the Fire from 2008-09, Brown joins fellow Ring member Chris Armas and goalkeeper Zach Thornton as the only three players to be part of all six of the club’s domestic titles.
Watch: C.J. Brown - A Tribute
Watch: The Goals of C.J. Brown
Photos: C.J. Brown Through the Years
Read: Then and Now with C.J. Brown
Read: Brown returns to Chicago for "Ring of Fire" induction
Ante Razov
INDUCTED: October 3, 2015 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, IL
After a collegiate career at UCLA, Razov was chosen by the Galaxy in the third round of the 1996 MLS College Draft and joined the Fire prior to the start of the 1998 season. In his first year with the Men in Red, Razov appeared in 30 games and led the Fire in scoring with 10 goals. Over the course of seven seasons with the Fire, Razov appeared in 125 regular season matches, scoring a club-record 76 goals -- including 21 game-winners -- and adding 44 assists. He made 26 postseason appearances for the Men in Red, scoring 10 goals and adding nine assists, including six assists to lead the Fire a MLS Cup appearance in 2000. A 2003 MLS Best XI honoree, Razov won the 1998 MLS Cup and three U.S. Open Cup titles in his time with the Fire. Across all competitions, Razov scored 95 goals in 176 appearances.
Read: Razov to be Inducted into Ring of Fire
Watch: Ante Razov Ring of Fire Induction
Watch: Heineken Fire Legends | Ante Razov
Watch: Looking back at Ante Razov's Career
Watch: Ante Razov's Goals
Read: Nine Questions with Ante Razov