The Colorado Rapids have their new manager: Robin Fraser. The speculation surrounding the Rapids new head coach has been confirmed. The hiring of the former player comes off the heels of the tenure of Coach Anthony Hudson who was fired on May 1st, 2019. The trend for Padraig Smith this year has been to look into the league for additions to the club and this hiring is no different. No “worldwide coach search” this time for the General Manager and Vice President. This in-league search for talent has really benefited the Rapids and one can assume that with Robin Fraser as head coach, more MLS-experienced and in-league players will be the norm.
Robin Fraser comes into the job with just one stint as a head coach. Appointed on January 2011, Fraser led the now dissolved Chivas USA for two seasons with an overall record of 15-32-21 and a win percentage of 22.06%. During his time with Chivas USA, Fraser endured a 14 match winless streak. This can be a red flag to many as the coach that the Rapids last brought in also had a losing record coming into the job and multiple winless streaks. However, the difference between Fraser and Hudson is he understands the league and will need very little time to adjust . After his stint with Chivas USA, Fraser stayed within the league and went to be an assistant under Mike Petke at Red Bulls New York for two seasons, and then an assistant under Gregg Vanney at Toronto FC since 2015. His time at Chivas USA comes with the big caveat that Chivas USA was a disaster of a club. Fraser became the sixth coach in seven years and soon after he was dismissed, the club folded. It is also fair to question whether the Rapids can avoid what Chivas USA did. While the Rapids won’t be dissolving anytime soon, as a Rapids fan you have to question if the club is ambitious enough to give Fraser the tools to succeed. If they’re willing to let Fraser guide the club into 2020, they’re gonna have to spend big. Now would be a great time for the Kroenke’s to hand over some of their money and bring in a talented player with name recognition. This hire is also important to the fans. Are fans ready and willing to bring in a new head coach and renew their expectations for the rest of the season? Does the fact that this is the third head coach in four years (with an extra two interim head coaches in between) sound off any alarms?
Time will tell whether this was the right hire. The Rapids weren’t playing the most beautiful soccer under Conor Casey but it was working. Set pieces and counter attacking soccer can only get you so far before you have to change the dynamic of the attack If Fraser is able to do so, the Rapids will end 2019 with at least some entertaining soccer.