Rapids Extend Head Coach Fernando Clavijo’s Contract Through 2008 Season

DENVER CO (Monday August 07 2006)- The Colorado Rapids announced today the extension of Fernando Clavijo’s contract as Head Coach of the team. Financial details of the new deal that will bind Clavijo to the Rapids through the 2008 season were not made public.

Clavijo who was presented as Head Coach of the Rapids on December 22nd 2004 had a two year contract with the team that was set to expire on December 31 2006.

"Fernando has done an outstanding job as the Head Coach of the Rapids since he joined our organization said Jeff Plush Colorado Rapids Vice President and Managing Director. "We believe in continuity as a base for success and want to make sure that he carries on with his work as he continues to successfully develop our club."

"It is a great honor to be able to continue at the helm of this team said Fernando Clavijo. "I’m extremely pleased and thankful for the trust put in me to be able to go on and finish the project that I started at the beginning of 2005. Our team has come long way since last season but there is still work to be done in this three-year plan to be positioned as the franchise at the top of MLS."

During his first year at the helm of the team in 2005 Clavijo was able to gather a group of players that discovered their true potential and made it to the Western Conference Championship only to be defeated by the eventual MLS Champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Among the key acquisitions made by Clavijo were the successful signings of international players such as Aitor Karanka Nicolas Hernandez and Terry Cooke. His well-trained eye for scouting talent brought to the Colorado young stars such as Jacob Peterson Fabrice Noel Hunter Freeman Dan Gargan and Bouna Coundoul.

During his first season leading the team Clavijo and his group which included veteran players like Pablo Mastroeni Joe Cannon and Jovan Kirovski amassed a 13-13-6 regular season record that qualified them for the playoffs. In the Western Conference semifinals the Rapids defeated FC Dallas in a home-and-away series that needed to go to penalty kicks to give the Rapids their first postseason series win in the Clavijo era.

Continuing to rebuild the team to match his soccer philosophy Clavijo acquired midfielder and US Soccer icon Clint Mathis at the beginning of the 2006 season.

Clavijo a 15-year veteran player of the U.S. Soccer National Team the American Soccer League the North American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League was elected to the US Soccer Hall of Fame on June 8 2005 and was inducted on August 29 of the same year.

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Colorado Rapids- Extend Fernando Clavijo’s contract as Head Coach of the Colorado Rapids.