Robin Fraser, one of the men credited with helping turn Real Salt Lake into a model MLS franchise, has been hired as Chivas USA's sixth coach in seven years. He succeeds Martin Vazquez, who was fired after one playoff-less season. Prior to Vazquez, Preki was fired after leading Chivas USA to the playoffs for three straight years.
Fraser joined the RSL coaching staff in 2007 along with head coach Jason Kreis. RSL were among the worst teams in the league that first season, but made their first playoff appearance in 2008 and won the MLS Cup in 2009. Although last year did not yield any silverware, RSL finished just three points shy of the Supporters' Shield and became the first MLS team to win their group in the modern incarnation of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Prior to joining the RSL staff, Fraser had made a name for himself by winning two MLS Defender of the Year awards and making 27 international appearances for the United States National Team. He leaves RSL as one of the hottest head coaching candidates.
"We are all extremely pleased for Robin to get this fantastic opportunity and know that he will certainly enjoy great success as a head coach in Major League Soccer," RSL head coach Jason Kreis said in a statement. "Robin was an extremely important member of our coaching staff, integral to all of our successes to date. He will be sorely missed, and I want to thank him deeply for what he meant to me, this team, and this club."
Joining Fraser at Chivas USA will be former teammate Greg Vanney, who most recently headed the RSL youth academy in Arizona.
Their first job will be identifying useful players in the upcoming MLS SuperDraft. The Rojiblancos have the No. 4 pick in the draft, but have just one other pick (No. 40 overall). Beyond that, they'll be overseeing a team that has already undergone significant change from last year.
Defender Jonathan Bornstein has left for Mexico (and his MLS rights transferred to the Portland Timbers) and the team has parted ways with Giancarlo Maldonado (loan expiration) Marcelo Saragosa (option declined), Alex Zotinca (option declined) and Eduardo Lillingston (option declined). They have also added veteran defender Jimmy Conrad, veteran forward Alejandro Moreno and rising start Tristan Bowen.