Report: Fraser joins Red Bulls as lead assistant coach

Robin Fraser

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Robin Fraser appears to be set for a return to the Major League Soccer coaching ranks, this time as an assistant to newly minted New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke.

Soccer By Ives reported on Tuesday afternoon that Fraser, the longtime Real Salt Lake assistant who spent two ill-fated seasons at the helm of Chivas USA in 2011-12, has signed on to join the Red Bulls coaching staff and will be team’s lead assistant.

The Red Bulls did not immediately comment on the report when contacted by MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday.

Fraser, 46, was one of the most celebrated assistant coaches in MLS during his tenure under head coach Jason Kreis at RSL. He was largely in charge of a defensive group that emerged as one of the best in the league, and Fraser won an MLS Cup with the club in 2009.

His success there led him to replace Martín Vásquez at Chivas USA before the 2011 season and while the club at times flirted with a postseason push in the first year, success was hard to come by in 2012. The Goats won just seven of 34 games last year and finished on a 14-game winless streak, which ultimately led to the club’s decision to part ways with Fraser and bring in José Luis Sánchez Solá earlier this year.

Soccer By Ives also reported that despite his strong MLS familiarity, Fraser was not the club’s first choice as lead assistant. That honor went to former Red Bulls and US national team player Claudio Reyna, who reportedly turned down the position.

Petke would not comment on the Fraser rumors during an interview with MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio podcast on Monday, but did say that “it is extremely valuable” for an MLS coaching staff to have faces familiar with the league.