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Red Bulls hire Fraser as assistant coach


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.


  1. Depth and experience as players – yes. Both are defenders, a sore topic of discussion for the Red Bulls. This can only help!
    The younger with passion, the older a bit more experienced as the front line coach.
    However, the difference here is that — they are both MLS alumni. This is a first for the
    Red Bulls. Maybe, there won’t be any confusion in the back line this year. Maybe, a defensive
    style will be established. Maybe??? So, Fraser as an assistant to “our Mike Petke”, can only be a plus.

  2. I’ve know Fraser since his days with the Galaxy. He is a good man. He will be a tremendous asset for the Red Bulls.

  3. A good move for both parties. I think Fraser could be a good coach someday, I just don’t think he’s ready for prime time yet, and RBNY get a known commodity in an experienced assistant coach to help out their inexperienced head coach. Good stuff. How long either of them end up staying? If I had to put money on it, I’d unfortunately have to put money on their tenures being brief, if history is any guide.

  4. It seems to me that he the Red Bulls got it backwards; shoudn’t Petke be his assistant? I do not doubt that Petke has potential, but giving him the reigns of one of the biggest MLS clubs without coaching experience seems foolish.

    • Well, Fraser was given the keys to a “lesser” club in Chivas USA, and it didn’t end too well, and with the talent that was on that team last year a lot of that blame falls to him, so I can understand RBNY’s reservations. Either way, if Petke’s a success they have the next great american coach on their hands with his successor right behind him, and if he doesn’t work out then they can fire him and still have Fraser, win/win in my book.

  5. I hope the Red Bull get off to a good start, else their revolving door policy on coaches will ensure at least rumors before the season is half done. Of course, given the history, Petke, followed by Fraser and then some foreign coach to be named at a later date is almost fateful.

  6. I just hope Petke has a say in his hiring and they work well together. The last thing you need is an assistant who believes he should still be a head coach. As for how NYRB will do this year? They win the MLS Cup. You heard it here first!

  7. Very smart pick up by the Red Bulls. In 2010 as assistant coach for RSL he was in charge of the defense that set MLS records only allowing 20 goals. Him reuniting with Olave should be something Red Bull fans should be very exited about.

    • My thoughts exactly Brant. I think for the first time in years, NYRB actually have coaches that know the make up the league and the abilities of the players.

      They may actually be a legitimate threat this year. Midfield still needs some work though.

  8. Everyone see that France “has proof” that Qatar cheated, the voting was rigged, and the US should have won? It’s exploding on the internet.

  9. Good move getting some MLS experience on the coaching staff. His knowledge of players, teams and the MLS infrastructure should help a long ways with an inexperienced FO and coaching staff. I think I actually like this more than the Reyna option.

    • We are a peculiar beast, our league, with a lot of unusual cap and roster rules/processes. Recycling in and of itself is not bad, Arena has made some stops and done well at all of them, ditto Sigi. The issue is more recycling a bad coach or not giving an existing coach enough time before shuffling them on. Chivas never seemed particularly decent where Fraser makes sense, and Marsch for instance looked decent in Montreal but will have to prove himself again elsewhere. You can argue about a lack of imagination but MLS-inexperienced coaches don’t tend to win titles, and a lot of it to me boils down to good coach/bad coach, universal discussion.


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