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Rapids hire Chris Armas as new head coach

Rapids hire Chris Armas as new head coach

Chris Armas is on his way back to Major League Soccer.

The Colorado Rapids have announced Armas as their new head coach, the club announced Friday. Armas reportedly edged out Rapids interim head coach Chris Little and Charlotte FC assistant Pa-Modou Kah for the job, according to The Athletic.

“We’re delighted to begin a new chapter at the Colorado Rapids with Chris as our head coach,” said Colorado Rapids President Pádraig Smith. “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,” Smith added. “We believe he has the personal qualities, experience and shared vision to help us achieve the success we seek.”

The 51-year-old previously was head coach of the New York Red Bulls and most recently Toronto FC. He was with TFC in 2021, but was relieved of his duties after only 11 matches in charge.

Armas spent two years with the Red Bulls, posting a 33-27-11 record across all competitions and winning the 2018 Supporters’ Shield. He also served as an assistant coach with Manchester United during the 2021-22 English Premier League season and with Leeds United under Jesse Marsch in 2023.

“I’m incredibly proud and excited to take the role as the head coach of the Colorado Rapids,” said Armas. “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,” Armas added. “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.”

A 12-year pro, Armas spent 10 of his 12 seasons with the Chicago Fire as a player and two with the LA Galaxy. He won four U.S. Open Cups as a player with the Fire, as well as the 1998 MLS Cup and 2003 Supporters’ Shield.

After originally making eight appearances for the Puerto Rico national team, Armas switched his international allegiance to the United States in 1998. He earned 66 caps with the USMNT, winning two CONCACAF Gold Cups in 2002 and 2005 respectively.

Colorado parted ways with former head coach Robin Fraser in September and ultimately finished last in the Western Conference.

Armas will have a major project in front of him if he wants to help the Rapids to get back into the postseason in 2024. The Rapids have already parted ways with striker Diego Rubio this offseason while also declining the contract option of veteran midfielder Jack Price.

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