The Colorado Rapids have announced the club has appointed Chris Armas as the 10th permanent head coach in its history.
“We’re delighted to begin a new chapter at the Colorado Rapids with Chris as our head coach,” said Colorado Rapids President Pádraig Smith. “Chris brings a wealth of experience across the highest levels of the game, both as a player and as a coach. He is a natural leader who demands the highest standards from his players and understands what it takes to build a positive, and winning culture. We believe he has the personal qualities, experience and shared vision to help us achieve the success we seek.”
Armas, 51, joins the Rapids with two decades of combined experience in MLS as a player and coach. The former defensive midfielder (LA Galaxy, Chicago Fire FC) enjoyed a successful, 12-year playing career in the league during which he won an MLS Cup (1998), a Supporters’ Shield (2003) and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006). A six-time MLS All-Star (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004), Armas is one of only five players in league history to have been named to the MLS Best XI five times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003). After recovering from an ACL injury sustained in 2002, he was named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year in 2003, as well as Chicago Fire FC’s MVP during their Supporters’ Shield-winning season that same year.
A native of New York City, Armas earned 66 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team during his playing career, winning two Concacaf Gold Cups (2002, 2005), as well as being named the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year in 2000.
“I’m incredibly proud and excited to take the role as the head coach of the Colorado Rapids,” said Chris Armas. “This is a club that has had success in the recent past and KSE is an organization that has a strong track record of winning championships. Throughout the process I was struck by the desire of the organization to return to the playoffs and compete for trophies. I’m as hungry as ever to deliver this success to our fans and our club. I’ve always been eager to implement my style of play at a club that plays and trains at altitude. This advantage, along with high energy, attacking and entertaining football, can help our team and fans return to home field dominance. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take the reins and to work with the entire staff to get the club back into the playoffs and ultimately to bring another MLS Cup to Colorado.”
After his retirement from playing, Armas began his coaching career in 2008 as an assistant coach for Chicago Fire FC before spending four years as head coach of Adelphi University’s women’s soccer team. In 2015, he joined the New York Red Bulls as an assistant coach as the side won the Supporters’ Shield that year. Armas was then appointed Red Bulls head coach in July 2018 following Jesse Marsch’s departure to RB Leipzig, finishing the regular season with a 12-3-3 record as his side won the 2018 Supporters’ Shield, while also leading the club to the Eastern Conference Finals. Most recently, Armas served as an assistant coach for English Premier League sides Manchester United (2021-22) and Leeds United (2023).