How Chris Armas will be as a manager of a club again is anyone’s guess.
Considering his coaching career to date has been a bit of a yin-yang, it’s difficult to know which Armas the Colorado Rapids will get in a few weeks time when they open the season on the road against Portland … at Providence Park … in February (Feb. 24, 10:30 p.m., ET 7:30 p.m., PT).
Rapids fans are certainly hoping for the Armas that took the reins of a New York Red Bulls team midseason in 2018 after then-head coach Jesse Marsch left as an assistant to Red Bull Salzburg, later becoming its manager. That Armas led Red Bulls all the way to a Supporters’ Shield, given to the Major League Soccer club with the best regular season record, and a run into the Eastern Conference finals.
There have been other playoff appearances, but this the highest point in his professional coaching career, especially amassing so much success in such a short time.
But the last few years of Armas blips on the radar have been odd, head turning stints with European clubs, first linking up with the revolving door of Manchester United managers, his time with Ralf Rangnick, a part of a dreadful 2021 United collective that fell out of Champions League contention and found Armas bow out months later. He’d pop up again with Leeds as an assistant last year, which, yeah….
So now, it’s a fresh start and clean slate in familiar confines, given as a player Armas was apart of a memorable Chicago Fire collective that ran through the League. He’s a familiar face, but MLS is a changed landscape considerably different from the one he left for his tour of England three years ago.
Recently, on the DNVR Rapids podcast, Armas was asked about his time in England and how it correlates to his plan for his tenure as the Rapids maestro. After a little introspective on how demanding and crazed supporters can be and how off-putting the English press can be, this bit was perhaps the most poignant and gave some insight into his thought process, in this, a new beginning for both club and coach.
“What really matters most at the Colorado Rapids is what mattered there, is that internally you get the respect by the work you do,” Armas said. “And then you try to repeat that because that’s what’s going to hold up. … you can learn alot if you listen more than you think you should talk and that’s what I think I learned a lot by being in the Premier League.”