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Colorado Rapids announce Robin Fraser as next head coach

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Fraser is the 9th head coach in club history.

Toronto FC v Chivas USA

UPDATED 8/25/19 at 10 a.m.:

After multiple sources reported that the Colorado Rapids had hired Robin Fraser, the club made the official announcement this morning.

Rapids Executive Vice President and General Manager, Pádraig Smith is “excited to welcome Robin Fraser to our club. He brings with him a wealth of experience, strong tactical acumen and a deep knowledge of what it takes to be successful in MLS. He is hugely respected by players and coaches around the league and has earned this reputation over the course of a distinguished career as a player and coach. We are thrilled to have someone of Robin’s caliber join our team at this time as we plan for what will be one of the most important offseasons in the club’s history.”

According to Jeffrey Carlisle, the Rapids gave TFC some GAM for Fraser:

Fraser will be officially introduced at a media press conference on Tuesday, August 27th at 1 p.m.

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After losing 2-0 to Real Salt Lake last night, multiple sources have confirmed that the Colorado Rapids have hired former Toronto FC Assistant Coach Robin Fraser to replace interim Head Coach Conor Casey. Fraser, 52, will become the 9th head coach in club history.

Initially reported by Cealey Godwin of 9News, it has also been confirmed by Jake Shapiro of the Denver Post, and Ives Galarcep of SBISoccer, among others. We should hear the official word from the club within the next day.

Josh Wolff and Robin Fraser were the only two names floating around after Anthony Hudson was fired on May 1st but Wolff was named Austin FC’s first head coach in July and things have been silent from the Rapids FO lately. When Casey took over, the Burgundy Boys found a new confidence and things seemed to turn around for the club, but after going 2-1-2 in their last five games, fans started to wonder if it was time to bring in a more permanent solution.

Fraser has been an assistant coach with TFC since 2015, but also assisted at Real Salt Lake (2007-2010) and the New York Red Bulls (2013-2014). He was the head coach of Chivas USA from 2011-2012 and went 15-32-21. As a coach, he has been a part of two MLS Cup titles, three Supporters’ Shield wins, and three Canadian Championships.

Born in Jamaica, Fraser grew up in Miami and played college soccer for Florida International University. He started his professional career with the Miami Sharks of the American Professional Soccer League in 1988 and also played for the Colorado Foxes from 1990-1995. When MLS was formed in 1996, Fraser was drafted by the LA Galaxy. He made the Best XI in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and was named MLS Defender of the Year in 1999 and 2004. He was also a part of the 2000 LA Galaxy side that won the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.

Fraser was traded to the Rapids before the 2001 season and had 93 appearances (and 6 goals) for Colorado between 2001-2003. Fraser finished his playing career with the Columbus Crew in 2005. He also earned 27 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team between 1988-2001.

Alicia Rodriguez of Angels on Parade remembers Fraser from his time at Chivas and told Burgundy Wave he typically played a 4-5-1 in those days. She called him “classy” and “very professional” and said that he “deserves a chance as a head coach again as he’s put in a lot of time as an assistant in the interim and worked with several successful coaches.”

Conor Casey is greatly appreciated for stepping up and leading the team after Hudson was fired. It’s not clear what his future (or the future of the rest of the coaching staff) holds, but we wish him all the best and he will always be a legend in the eyes of Rapids fans.

All in all, Fraser is a solid choice. He’s not a flashy big name, but he has some solid experience and has spent his entire coaching career in MLS. We look forward to getting to know Robin Fraser and seeing what he can do here in Colorado, especially as we move into the 2020 season.