COMMERCE CITY COLO. (Friday January 9 2009) – The Colorado Rapids announced today that the club’s all-time leading scorer Paul Bravo has been named the team’s Technical Director. Bravo re-joins the Rapids having served as the Director of Soccer with the LA Galaxy the past two years.
In his newly-created position Bravo will oversee the club’s domestic and international scouting the Rapids Youth Academy and support the Rapids coaching staff in first team operations.
"Colorado has always been a special place for me said Bravo. "I am excited about re-joining the Rapids organization and the opportunities for success that are ahead of this club."
Bravo returns to the Rapids after one of the most successful playing careers in the team’s 14-year history. As a forward for the Rapids from 1997-2001 he helped lead Colorado to the 1997 MLS Cup and was the first player in Rapids history to record 100 points. With 39 career goals with the Rapids he still sits atop the record books as Colorado’s all-time leading scorer.
On July 4 2003 the three-time MLS All Star was one of two players to be the first-ever inductees into the Rapids "Gallery of Honor". (Watch Bravo's Rapids Gallery of Honor induction video from 2003 by clicking here).
"Paul has been such a valuable asset to our organization over the years both as a player and an assistant coach that it is a natural fit that he now moves into our front office said Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush.
"Paul has proven himself as a great evaluator of talent and someone that along with head coach Gary Smith can help lead our club in the direction we want which is winning championships."
Following his six-year MLS career that saw him play with the San Jose Clash in 1996 and the Rapids Bravo moved directly into coaching serving as an assistant coach with Colorado from 2002-2003.
After his time with the Rapids Bravo served as an assistant coach at UCLA for the 2004 and 2005 seasons serving under Jorge Salcedo helping the Bruins to two Pac-10 Championships and a two-year record of 26-9-5. During his two years in Westwood Bravo recruited a number of players who have gone on to successful careers in MLS and Europe as well as with the U.S. National Team including Jonathan Bornstein Benny Feilhaber Kamani Hill Marvell Wynne Sal Zizzo and more.
Originally hired as an assistant coach under Frank Yallop with the LA Galaxy in June 2006 Bravo was elevated to the title of Director of Soccer on August 24 2007.
Bravo finished his MLS playing career with 52 goals and 27 assists. Prior to his major league career he also played for the San Francisco Greek-Americans in 1994 leading them to the U.S. Open Cup championship.
Bravo made four appearances for the U.S. National Team from 1994-1999 scoring one goal and registering an assist. Bravo made his National Team debut on December 11 1994 replacing Mike Burns for the final eight minutes of a 1-1 draw with Honduras. Nearly five years late Bravo earned his first career start for the U.S. on July 30 1999 in a 2-0 win over Germany at the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup in Mexico. Four days later on August 3 Bravo scored his first goal for the U.S. scoring the game-winner in the 28th minute of a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the 3rd place game of that same tournament.
While in college Bravo led Santa Clara University to the 1989 NCAA Co-Championship finishing his Broncos career with 26 goals and 13 assists. He earned a degree in Political Science from Santa Clara in 1993.
Bravo has also worked as a coach for the Under-18 Men’s U.S. National Team and was an assistant coach for the Region IV 88’s in 2003 and the 89s’ in 2004. He also holds a USSF "A" Coaching License.