Chris Armas has been appointed as new head coach of the Colorado Rapids in the MLS.
The Athletic report that after an “extensive interview process”, the Rapids have opted for Armas to be the man to breathe new life into the project.
The Denver-based team finished dead last of the Western Conference this year and consequently parted ways with their former coach, Robin Fraser, in September.
The New York born coach enjoyed a successful playing career, representing the United States’ national team 66 times between 1998 and 2005. As a player, he also won an MLS Cup and four US Open Cups as a Chicago Fire player.
His managerial record has been patchier however. Armas did enjoy some success as a coach for his hometown, New York Red Bulls, when they won the Supporters’ Shield in 2018.
However, the American struggled when he was given the reins of Toronto FC in 2021. He was sacked after only 11 games. However, he is globally more well-known for his assistant coaching role at Man United.
Armas had a turbulent brief stint as an assistant coach during Ralf Rangnick’s equally short and problematic time at the club as interim manager. The whole football world knows this period of time in the 2021-22 season was a spectacular failure.
The Old Trafford side finished sixth in the league and only narrowly avoided the Europa Conference League due to results going their way on the final day, despite a lethargic 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace. The team gained a meagre 58 points and had a pathetic goal difference of zero.
Armas was also the butt of many jokes and his reputation took a beating during his time at the club. The Peoples Person reported in early 2022 that the United players were far from impressed by the American’s credentials for the job and lambasted the quality of the training.
The players were rumoured to call him “Ted Lasso”, a fictional American football coach from a popular series on Apple TV, behind his back. This was not the only jab at his supposed bumbling ability on the job.
Armas’ record was also the subject of interest when a report in The Athletic claimed Alex Ferguson was less than impressed with Armas’ record when the pair met. It was claimed Armas had reeled off his CV to Ferguson, to which the Scot reportedly replied: “You’ll need more than that here, son.”
Of course, in a subsequent interview Armas has defended himself. He asserts that the press was “flat-out lying” about the encounter with Ferguson and he looks back on his time in England as a “positive”. The former New York Red Bulls coach was also a coach at Leeds during Jesse Marsch’s spell as Leeds United manager. This was also far from successful as Leeds would end up relegated by the end of spring.
Maybe a job out of the spotlight will be good for Armas and a chance to rebuild his reputation. One thing is for sure, he is unlikely to ever get another job in England again.