COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids have signed head coach Robin Fraser to a four-year contract extension, the club announced today. Fraser is under contract with the Burgundy and Blue through the 2025 MLS season. This deal creates massive long term security for Fraser and the club.
Breaking Down the Colorado Rapids Robin Fraser Four-Year Contract Extension
Since Fraser’s arrival on August 25, 2019, the Rapids have been in the ascendency. They have 1.76 points per game in that time. That is tied for the most in MLS. That PPG would put a team comfortably top five in the league in any regular season and usually secure a first round bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs. In certain years would be good enough to win the Supporters’ Shield. What’s more, almost every player has gotten better under him.
“Robin has proven himself to be among the elite coaches in MLS. His coaching acumen, personality and attention to detail make him an ideal fit to help us continue to compete at the top of MLS for years to come,” said Josh Kroenke, Vice Chairman of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
Last year, they finished first in the Western Conference regular season with 61 points, setting the club record for points in a single season. They are in position in 2022 to make the playoffs for the third straight year. The last time that happened, MLS had twelve teams and eight made the playoffs. To put it simply, Robin Fraser has been the best regular season head coach in club history. Gary Smith winning MLS Cup in 2010 is the only reason Fraser is not already the best head coach in club history.
“I’m extremely happy to be signing with the Rapids for an extended period of time,” said Fraser. “This team is still in its infancy, in terms of where we want to go, so I am genuinely excited about the opportunity to continue this project. I’ve truly enjoyed working with this group of players and this incredible technical staff and am very much looking forward to what we can accomplish together.”
This contract extension needed to happen. Fraser is an excellent manager. There are other clubs in MLS that would have (or possibly already have) come calling to hire him. Fraser’s coached the Rapids with only two Designated Players in the four seasons he’s been here: Tim Howard for the final few months of 2019 and an injured Younes Namli for two seasons. Many worse coaches have gotten way more resources to compete than Fraser has.
When I have asked Fraser in the past about his future and whether this stint in Colorado have been the best in his career, he has been political and calculating in his responses (as usual). He focuses on the present, which has been under contract with the Rapids. While 2021 was a rewarding year in many ways, his best times as a coach have been when trophies are won, something he has yet to do here.
This deal secures Fraser’s future in Colorado. He clearly has unwavering support from the front office. With this news, outside of Lucas Esteves, the long term future of every key technical piece is under club control through 2025. Fraser’s contract extension hopefully indicates he’s been sold on a long term future that is more attractive financially personally and on the field than other opportunities he might have elsewhere. Fraser has four more years to grow as coach, develop his tactical ideas, and bring this team from “its infancy” as he put it into its prime.
This collective security will allow the project of The Rapids Way to flourish and achieve its potential: Making the Rapids a perennial playoff team and bringing a second MLS Cup back to Colorado.
Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB