By IVES GALARCEP
The New York Red Bulls head into the 2013 season with a head coach who has zero head coaching experience. That doesn’t mean the team’s coaching staff won’t have at least some head coaching experience on it.
The Red Bulls have signed former Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser to be the team’s lead assistant coach, sources within the team told SBI on Tuesday.
Fraser was let go as Chivas USA head coach at the end of the 2012 season after two seasons in charge of the Goats. Prior to that Fraser was a highly-regarded assistant coach With Real Salt Lake. The 46-year-old coach, a former U.S. Men’s National Team defender and MLS Best XI defender during his playing days, was one of the top head coaching prospects in MLS before taking the job with Chivas USA.
Two terrible seasons with the Goats have tarnished Fraser’s reputation, but he remains a very smart hire for a Red Bulls team that appeared to be in panic mode when it hired Mike Petke as head coach after seeing top choice Paulo Sousa be denied a work permit after initially agreeing to take the Red Bulls head coaching job.
Much like Petke wasn’t New York’s first choice, Fraser was not the Red Bulls’ top choice to be lead assistant. Claudio Reyna was offered the position, and was believed to have come close to accepting it before backing out of the running for reasons that remain unclear.
First linked to the current assistant coaching vacancy earlier this week by the New York Post, Fraser should help provide the experience on the sidelines and in the locker room that the club is lacking, and he also gives the team a solid fall-back option if Petke struggles with the first head coaching role of his career.
What do you think of this hire? See Fraser helping Petke succeed in New York? Think both Petke and Fraser will only be around a year before a big name foreign coach is hired? How do you see the Red Bulls doing in 2013?
Share your thoughts below.