Wilmer Cabrera joins the Colorado Rapids as an Assistant Coach, working on the staff of his former teammate with the Colombian National Team, Oscar Pareja. For the last five years, Cabrera served as the Head Coach of the United States Under-17 National Team.
A native of Cartagena, Colombia, Cabrera was named the head coach of the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team in the fall of 2007 and guided the team twice through a successful qualifying campaign and a Round of 16 appearance at the 2009 and 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He worked alongside fellow Rapids assistant coach Paul Caffrey from 2007 to 2011, as well as a brief stint with Pareja at his side from 2007-08.
Cabrera is a veteran of two FIFA World Cups himself, being named to the Colombian roster in 1990 and playing in three matches in France in 1998, while missing out on the 1994 tournament with a knee injury. He earned 48 caps as a defender during nine years with the national team.
Cabrera began his professional career at Santa Fe de Bogotá in Colombia in 1985 at age 17. He went on to play professionally for 18 years in Colombia, Argentina and Costa Rica, highlighted by eight years with Colombia’s America de Cali where he scored 33 goals in 115 appearances for the club.
In 2003, Cabrera moved to the United States and played for two years with the United Soccer League’s Long Island Rough Riders. He also worked as the Manager of Fan Development at Major League Soccer, contributing to the growth of the sport by serving as a spokesperson for MLS Futbolito and Verano MLS, two programs aimed at grassroots development of soccer in the United States. He also coached at the U-17/18 level at the prestigious B/W Gottschee in Ridgewood, N.Y. from 2005-2007.