Rapids Narrow List of Final Head Coaching CandidatesFormer Rapids Defender Denis Hamlett Among the Final Candidates for the Black and Blue's Head Coaching PositionExclusive to ColoradoRapids.com -ColoradoRapids.com sat down and got the exclusive inside scoop from Colorado Rapids Governor Charlie Wright who provided the names of some of the final candidates in consideration for the team’s Head Coaching Position. "After trimming down an extensive list of candidates that we put together with the help of Soccer Ambassador Marcelo Balboa Assistant Coach Steve Trittschuh and after talking to other teams’ General Managers and ownership groups we reached the point that we can make public the names of six of the final candidates. There are two or three more candidates’ names that we cannot announce at this point due to their current employment situations said Wright. "These six coaches have proven themselves at the highest level of soccer on and off the field both in the United States and often times abroad. We are confident that we will find among all of our candidates the head coach that will make this team a contender for MLS Cup for years to come and make our loyal fans proud of their team Wright added.Six of the final candidates in alphabetical order and listed with their current or latest position are:Brian Bliss current Assistant Coach for the Kansas City Wizards Fernando Clavijo former Haitian National Team Coach Denis Hamlett current Assistant Coach for the Chicago FireCurt Onalfo current Assistant Coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team Juan Carlos Osorio Manchester City EnglandTom Soehn current Assistant Coach for D.C. UnitedHere are the complete bios for these six candidates including their MLS and International coaching experience in alphabetical order: BRIAN BLISSD.O.B. September 28th 1965 MLS Coaching Experience 2004 – Kansas City Wizards: 14-9-7 MLS Runner Ups Assistant Coach2003 - KCW: 11-10-9 Lost in Semifinals Assistant Coach2002 –KCW: 9-10-9 Lost in First Round Assistant Coach2001 –KCW: 11-13-3 Lost in First Round Assistant Coach2000 –KCW: 16-7-9 MLS Cup Champions Assistant CoachBrian Bliss who finished his playing career with the Kansas City Wizards in 1998 was named the club's assistant coach on December 21 1999. Bliss was a defender in a successful soccer career that spanned the indoor and outdoor ranks both internationally and domestically. His playing career took him to the highest level of the sport - the 1990 World Cup in Italy where current Wizards head coach Bob Gansler led the United States National team that qualified for the prestigious tournament for the first time in 40 years. During his playing times Bliss played for three Major League Soccer teams: the Columbus Crew the MetroStars and the Wizards in the first three years of the league's existence. He was traded to the Wizards from the MetroStars for a 1st round draft selection before the 1998 season. He started the '98 season opener but was sidelined with injuries before being released on June 30th. After his playing career ended a coaching career beckoned. He took over the head coaching duties for the Connecticut Wolves (A-League) and immediately made an impact increasing the team's overall point total by 22 in 1999. Prior to playing in MLS Bliss played five seasons 1992-96 for F.C. Carl Zeiss Jena of the German 2nd Division and two years for F.C. Chemnitz in Germany in 1991-92. Bliss was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1984-95 and registered 44 caps. Besides being a member of the '90 World Cup team he played in the 1995 Copa America and represented the United States in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul Korea. FERNANDO CLAVIJOD.O.B. January 23rd 1956 in Maldonado UruguayMLS Coaching Experience2002 - New England Revolution: 12-14-2 MLS Cup Runner Ups Head Coach (Until 5/23/02) 2001-NER: 7-14-6 Did not clinch a playoff spot U.S. Open Cup Runner Ups Head Coach2000- NER: 13-13-6 Lost in the first round of playoffs Head CoachInternational Coaching Experience2004 - Haitian National Team Eliminated from 2006 World Cup Qualification Head Coach2003 - United States Under-20 National Team Assistant Coach1998 - Nigerian National Team at 1998 World Cup Assistant Coach Former U.S. National Team defender Fernando Clavijo most recently held the Head Coaching position with the Haitian National Team that participated in the first round of the 2006 World Cup Qualifiers. In this role Clavijo brought together scattered Haitian soccer talent from around the world despite political turmoil in the country and was able to field a team that featured rising stars such as MLS players Jean Philippe Peguero and Alexandre Boucicaut. He led the team to a 2-1-1 record that left them short of the Second Round with only one loss in the tournament. At an international level Clavijo also served as an assistant coach to the Nigerian National Team which participated in the 1998 World Cup held in France. Along with Head Coach Bora Milutinovich he led Nigeria to the Round of Sixteen after posting a 2-1 record beating European heavyweights Spain and Bulgaria along the way. During his MLS stint Clavijo served three seasons as the Head Coach of the New England Revolution from 2000 to 2002. With Clavijo at the helm the Revolution produced some of the most impressive accomplishments in the team's seven-year history. In 2002 the team that Clavijo put together during a two season period finally paid dividends even after the Maldonado native left losing to the L.A. Galaxy in the MLS Cup. In 2001 the Revs made an exceptional run through the U.S. Open Cup tournament and into the title game falling in overtime to the Los Angeles Galaxy. This was the first time the Revolution had ever advanced to a championship finale. In Clavijo's debut season of 2000 the Revolution had its most successful season ever finishing the regular season with a 13-13-6 record and winning a playoff game for the first time in franchise history. The Revs set a new team high in points totaling 45 in 32 games played. Clavijo who was born in Uruguay started his coaching career in 1989 while still a player and began to focus full-time on coaching after his retirement at the age of 38 in 1994. His first coaching job without the responsibilities as a player took him to the Pacific Northwest in 1994. He was the head coach of the expansion Seattle Seadogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL) and in just three years he led the Seadogs to an impressive 27-7 record and the CISL Championship. In recognition of this great accomplishment he was named the 1997 Coach of the Year. He also coached the Western Division in the CISL's All-Star game that year. After starting his professional career at 16 years of age in Uruguay Clavijo moved to the United States in 1979. At age 22 he began his U.S. professional career in the American Soccer League. During the 1980s as a member of the St. Louis Storm the San Diego Sockers and the Los Angeles Lazers Clavijo was one of the top players in the history of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). He was named an All-Star 12 times while also being tabbed the MISL Defender of the Year on three occasions. In 1990 MISL named him its player of the decade for the 1980s. In 1994 Clavijo's dream of playing in a World Cup came true as he started and played the full 90 minutes in the U.S. team's historic upset of Colombia the 1994 USA World Cup. DENIS HAMLETTD.O.B. January 9th 1969 in Puerto Limon Costa RicaMLS Coaching Experience2004 –Chicago Fire: 8-13-9 Did not clinch playoff spot U.S Open Cup Runner Ups Assistant Coach2003 –CHI: 1578 MLS Runner Ups and US Open Cup Champions Assistant Coach2002 –CHI: 11-13-4 Lost in First Round Assistant Coach2001 –CHI: 16-6-5 Lost in Semifinal Round Assistant Coach2000 –CHI: 17-9-6 MLS and U.S. Open Cup Runner Ups 2nd Assistant Coach1999 –CHI: 18-14 Lost in Conference Semifinals 2nd Assistant Coach1998 –CHI: 20-12 MLS and U.S. Open Cup Champions 2nd Assistant CoachFormer Colorado Rapids defender Denis Hamlett currently serves as the Head Assistant Coach with the Chicago Fire. He joined the Chicago club in 1998 as an assistant coach and a member of the community relations department helping organize activities in the community including player appearances. The Puerto Limon Costa Rica native was promoted to the team's top Assistant Coach role in 2001. Hamlett led the Fire from the sideline in the team’s 2-1 victory over Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champion’s Cup on April 21 2004 after Head Coach Dave Sarachan was suspended for an ejection during the fist leg’s game. On the international coaching side after the 1999 MLS season Hamlett served as the assistant coach during the U.S. Project-40's visit to Portugal where the team set a 2-2 record.In his playing career Hamlett was originally drafted by the Colorado Rapids in the Inaugural MLS Draft in the second round (12th overall). The 1996 Colorado Rapids Bic Tough Defender of the Year Hamlett retired from playing after the 1996 MLS season because of a stroke he suffered during the 1997 pre-season. Prior to joining the Rapids the bilingual Hamlett was an All-Star in the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL) with the Anaheim Splash. He has also played in the NPSL with the Harrisburg Heat and the APSL (now A-League) with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. Hamlett who currently holds an "A" licensed coaching batch moved to the U.S. from Costa Rica when he was 10 years old and played his college soccer at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. He currently resides in Chicago. CURT ONALFOD.O.B. November 19 1969 in Sao Paulo BrazilMLS Coaching Experience2002 – DC United: 9-14-5 Did not clinch a playoff spot Assistant Coach2001 - DCU: 8-16-2 Did not clinch a playoff spot Assistant Coach 2000 - DCU: 8-18-6 Did not clinch a playoff spot 2nd Assistant Coach International Coaching Experience2004 - U.S. National Team undefeated season Assistant Coach 2003 - U.S. National Team Assistant Coach2002 - U.S. Olympic Team Assistant Coach Curtis Onalfo just finished his second year with the United States Men’s National Team coaching staff after a 11-year career as a coach and professional soccer player in the United Sates Mexico and France. Some of his main responsibilities in the role of assistant coach with the USMNT have been to scout games all over the world as well as analyze numerous game tapes to point out key strategy issues that help the overall preparation for Bruce Arena’s side. He also assists in day-to-day management of the team. Onalfo 35 served two seasons as an assistant coach for D.C. United in 2001 and 2002. The Sao Paulo Brazil native joined D.C.’s coaching staff in January 2001 as the second assistant coach and was promoted to the first assistant coach after Frank Yallop was hired as San Jose’s head coach in February of that same year. The Oak Hill Virginia resident was the Director of Coach and Player Development for the McLean Youth Soccer Association in McLean VA. He also worked with the development of youth soccer in Northern Virginia through his company Curt Onalfo Soccer Inc. which provides year-round training for youth players and teams. In his nine-year professional career Onalfo reached the MLS Cup final with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1996 and was part of D.C. United’s team that captured the MLS Cup in 1999. The former University of Virginia standout served as co-captain of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team in Barcelona and was a starting sweeper for the Under-20 side that finished in fourth place in the 1989 Youth World Championship in Saudi Arabia. A cancer survivor Onalfo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1993. After successfully completing chemotherapy the disease is now in full remission. JUAN CARLOS OSORIOBorn 1962 in Risaralda ColombiaMLS Coaching Experience2000- MetroStars: 13-10-3 Lost in first round Conditioning/Assistant CoachInternational Coaching Experience2004- Manchester City currently 5-5-5 (Premiership) Conditioning/Assistant Coach2003- Manchester City 9-15-14 (Premiership) Conditioning/Assistant Coach2002- Manchester City 15-17-6 (Premiership) Conditioning/Assistant Coach2001- Manchester City 31-9-6 (Division 1) Conditioning/Assistant CoachFormer MetroStars Assistant Coach/Conditioning Coach Juan Carlos Osorio joined Kevin Keegan's staff in a similar capacity at Manchester City in the English First Division in June 2001. A native of Risaralda Colombia Osorio holds a diploma in Science and Football from John Moores University (Liverpool England) a UEFA "B" coaching license from the English Football Association and a coaching certificate from the Royal Netherlands Football Association. He graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 1990 with a B.A. in Exercise Science. During his professional playing career Osorio played midfield for the New York Fever (96-97) New York Centaurs (95-96) and Brooklyn Italians (94-95). In Colombia he played for Deportivo Pereira ('82-84) Risaralda F.C. ('84) and Plastiquimicas ('80-82). In 1982 he was a member of the Colombian Under-20 team that competed in a tournament in Ecuador. TOM SOEHND.O.B. April 15 1966 in Chicago ILMLS Coaching Experience2004 – DC United: 11-10-9 MLS Cup Champions Assistant Coach2003 – Chicago Fire: 1578 MLS Runner Ups and US Open Cup Champions Assistant Coach2002 - CHI: 11-13-4 Lost in First Round Assistant Coach2001 – CHI: 16-6-5 Lost in Semifinal Round Assistant CoachInternational Coaching Experience2003 - United States Under-23 National Team Assistant Coach (During Portugal Tour) Tom Soehn 37 joined the coaching staff of D.C. United in 2004 following three seasons as an assistant with the Chicago Fire. During that time the Fire qualified for the playoffs each of those seasons won the 2003 Eastern Conference Championship and advanced to MLS Cup 2003. Prior to beginning his coaching career Soehn played five years in MLS as a defender with both Dallas and Chicago totaling two goals and three assists for seven points. During his time with Chicago he was a member of the Fire’s three championship teams (MLS Cup 1998 U.S. Open Cup 1998 and 2000). A veteran of the APSL CISL and NPSL the Chicago native began playing professional soccer in the United States in 1988. Before joining the Fire Soehn played for the Wichita Wings (MISL) from 1988-92 and 1993-96 the Denver Thunder (NPSL) from 1992-93 the Las Vegas Dustdevils (CISL) in 1995 the Colorado Foxes (APSL) and the Dallas Burn from 1996-98. Soehn recorded 121 goals and 73 assists for 287 points during his indoor career which saw his career-high 31 goals scored for the Wichita Wings in 1995-96. During his time in Chicago Soehn led the Fire in building a huge presence throughout Chicago's soccer communities in his dual role as Assistant Coach and Community Relations Coordinator within the Fire's front office. Soehn’s vast community work also earned him the 2000 Chicago Fire/New York Life Humanitarian of the Year Award.