Smith Named Rapids Head Coach

Smith Named Rapids Head Coach

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On November 11, 2008
  • Coaching Hires, Gary Smith

Gary Smith introduced as the new coach of the Colorado Rapids. (Getty Images)

Honestly, I saw this headline today and wasn’t at all shocked by it. Sure many thought that Gary Smith did a decent enough job when Fernando Clavijo stepped down earlier in the year with the Colorado Rapids. Some thought he would just be a short term fix and that the club would go after a better assistant coach like a Paul Mariner or John Spencer.

Turns out the Rapids liked Smith enough to keep him on as a head coach and not just an interim one. He has already been making some moves by bringing in other coaches to the club (He reportedly hired Steve Guppy as an assistant).

The numbers were certainly in Smith’s corner too. His record of 5-4-2 included a month of undefeated play in September and three road victories; the Rapids had only one road win in nine matches before Smith took over.

The thing is will this really be a step up for the Rapids? He did find a way to bring out the best in some players like Conor Casey, Mike Petke and Mehdi Ballouchy. If he can get that kind of push out of usual duds then you have to think that a full winter to make moves and develop young talent from the SuperDraft would improve this club.

But I still have my doubts with how things will be for this club. The Rapids were one of the most inconsistent clubs this past year and that was a big reason why they failed to reach the playoffs, not to mention they blew it in the final seconds against their rival to reach the playoffs. Also, did he have enough time as an assistant to really get the MLS game unlike most European coaches that come over to try and coach in this league.

Still things should be looking up for this club. I fully expect Smith to deal Christian Gomez as soon as he can to the first buyer. What he does with the cash in return (and players if that is apart of the deal) will remain to be seen. Then again I kinda see some guys like Bouna Coundoul and Facundo Erpen getting dealt too or at least cut.

What do you all make of the Smith hire? Good one or bad? Is it at least a step up from Clavijo?