MLS: Rapids hand coaching reins to Chris Armas

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The Colorado Rapids announced the hiring of head coach Chris Armas on Friday.

The former New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC manager replaces Robin Fraser, who was fired in September.

Chris Little, who went 2-4-2 as the interim coach after Fraser’s dismissal, also was a finalist for the position.

“We’re delighted to begin a new chapter at the Colorado Rapids with Chris as our head coach,” Rapids president Padraig Smith said in a release. “Chris brings a wealth of experience across the highest levels of the game, both as a player and as a coach.

“He is a natural leader who demands the highest standards from his players and understands what it takes to build a positive and winning culture. We believe he has the personal qualities, experience and shared vision to help us achieve the success we seek.”

Armas, 51, has worked as an assistant coach in England with Manchester United (2021-22) and Leeds United (2023) since being fired after a 1-8-2 start with Toronto FC in 2021.

He takes over a Colorado team that earned the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed in 2021 but missed the MLS Cup playoffs the past two seasons. The Rapids (5-17-12) were last in the West in 2023 with just 27 points.

“I’m incredibly proud and excited to take the role as the head coach of the Colorado Rapids,” Armas said. “This is a club that has had success in the recent past and KSE is an organization that has a strong track record of winning championships. Throughout the process, I was struck by the desire of the organization to return to the playoffs and compete for trophies.

“I’m as hungry as ever to deliver this success to our fans and our club. I’ve always been eager to implement my style of play at a club that plays and trains at altitude. This advantage, along with high energy, attacking and entertaining football, can help our team and fans return to home-field dominance. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take the reins and to work with the entire staff to get the club back into the playoffs and ultimately to bring another MLS Cup to Colorado.”

Promoted to head coach of the Red Bulls in July 2018, Armas guided the club to the Supporters’ Shield and the Eastern Conference finals that year. He was fired during the 2020 season.

A midfielder, Armas was a six-time MLS All-Star over 12 seasons with the LA Galaxy (1996-97) and Chicago Fire (1998-2007). The New York City native began his coaching career as an assistant with the Fire in 2008.

–Field Level Media

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