Real Salt Lake knew that sooner or later there was going to be an MLS team that would take former assistant Robin Fraser to be its head coach. That moment finally arrived on Tuesday, as Chivas USA named the former Galaxy player as their new manager.
“We’re extremely pleased he’s gotten this opportunity,” RSL manager Jason Kreis told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s been in contention last couple of years and occasionally felt hard done by that he didn’t get the opportunity sooner.
“It’s well-deserved and no doubt he’s going to be fantastic head coach in the league. He leaves a gaping hole in our staff and we have to address it in fairly short order.”
The hole is even greater given that Fraser will also be taking along the club’s director of the RSL-Arizona youth academy, Greg Vanney, who will now serve as Chivas USA assistant.
Since Fraser was under contract with Real Salt Lake, the two Western Conference clubs have reached an agreement for minimal future considerations, according to RSL GM Garth Lagerwey.
[inline_node:325900]“We were firmly committed to not standing in Robin’s way,” Lagerwey said. “Robin’s interviewed probably four to six jobs at this point and it’s become part of our offseason ritual.”
Fraser's appointment at Chivas USA was a long process which took place “over a period of several weeks,” according to RSL. The club was first contacted by Chivas USA during the 2010 postseason and the process began to heat up in late December when the Goats informed them that Fraser was a finalist.
RSL describe Fraser as a thinker and analytical student of the game who was mainly responsible for the team’s international scouting, video scouting and preparing the RSL players for upcoming opponents.
“He tends to look at game from an X's and O’s tactical standpoint and a team shape standpoint in a very sophisticated manner,” Lagerwey said. “The biggest adjustment he’ll have is what kind of leadership style is he going to use.
“He’s a little quieter, but he has a presence about him and he won’t be doing things that he hasn’t done before. He’ll do great.”
RSL's technical staff will be operating a man down through this week’s combine and next week's SuperDraft. The club hopes to compile a list of candidates in the next 7-10 days and reach a decision on a new assistant by the time training camp opens in late January.
“Of our top five to six technical guys we’re losing two of them and it’s a big loss for our club,” Lagerwey said.
“The timing is not ideal for us,” Kreis said. “I wish this decision could have been reached earlier. But it is what it is. We’ve got a lot on our plates next week.”