Colorado Rapids: Robin Fraser is the frontrunner for MLS coach of the year

Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser during the first half against Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser during the first half against Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Colorado Rapids head coach has team on fire

Time to seriously begin considering Colorado Rapids Robin Fraser as the frontrunner for MLS’ Sigi Schmid coach of the year. Now in his second full season with the Rapids, Fraser has this club not just pointed in the right direction but winning.

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It is now three in a row for the Colorado Rapids following a 2-1 home win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night. The Rapids are winning games and making an impression in a crowded Western Conference.

“I probably would have thought, ‘I would never count against our team.’ But to think that we would have won all three games I think is a hard thing to say that’s definitely going to happen. But as I said, I would never bet against our team just because the character,” Fraser said after the match.

“The character of the team, the character of the players. They find ways to win. On some occasions we play really well and we find ways to win that way, but on the nights when we play poorly we still are able to find ways to win from time to time and certainly tonight was one of those. Emotionally I’m really, really proud. I’m excited. I’m drained. It was one of these where I didn’t run a minute, but I was completely exhausted at the end of it, but the overwhelming feeling is that I’m really proud of the team.”

The win sets the Rapids at 11-4-4 on the year (37 points). They are in third place in the Western Conference, just two points behind second place Sporting Kansas City and five points off the Seattle Sounders for top of the conference.

The Rapids have played two fewer games this season than either Sporting Kansas City or the Sounders.

Why Robin Fraser’s results with the Colorado Rapids are impressive

What makes the job by Fraser so impressive is that the Colorado Rapids have the third lowest payroll in MLS this season at $8.411 million in roster spending.

To put that in perspective, the LA Galaxy are spending $8.459 million on just their forwards this season. The Galaxy are currently two points behind the Rapids in the Western Conference.

The Rapids have been quietly churning out results over the past month. Since a July 24 loss at Real Salt Lake, the Rapids now have four wins and a draw in their last five games. And in their last nine games, the Rapids have five wins and three draws, with their lone loss the aforementioned uncharacteristically poor performance at rival Real Salt Lake.

The love fest for the Colorado Rapids and what Fraser is doing is well known around these parts. Read thisor this…or this

Clearly, some of the credit here belongs to general manager Padraig Smith who is building a roster of not just value but also merit. Smith should be a frontrunner for the Doug Hamilton Award (executive of the year). Yet the job done by Fraser to build on last season’s appearance in the playoffs appears to be ascending.

It makes him not just the best coach in MLS this season by a mile but also puts the Rapids in a spot to make a playoff run. This is a tough and organized team that above all is well coached.