Chris Woods in net for Colorado in 1996
Getty Images

Former Rapids GK Woods to join USMNT coaching staff

Commerce City, Colo. - Chris Woods, a goalkeeper on the inaugural Colorado Rapids team in 1996, has been selected by U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to be the team's new goalkeeper coach.

"Chris Woods is Jurgen’s first choice to be the goalkeeper coach for the Men's National Team," U.S. Senior Manager of Communications Neil Buethe confirmed via email to "U.S. Soccer officials are having discussions with Chris to finalize a contract."

The Englishman Woods was signed by then Rapids coach Bob Houghton as the team's fifth 'marquee' player on May 10, 1996 after a long career which saw him appear in more than 450 club matches in England and Scotland. He also carried over 40 caps with the English National Team and was a member of their 1986 and 1990 World Cup teams.

Woods, 36 at the time, made his debut for the Rapids the next day, on May 11, starting in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay at old Mile High Stadium in Denver. He went on to start 23 matches for the Rapids that year - his only season in MLS - registering eight wins and 15 losses while surrendering 43 goals before returning to England to finish his career.

The Rapids began the inaugural season with Morroco's 1994 World Cup goalkeeper Khalil Azmi and former Seattle Sounder (American Professional Soccer League) Dusty Hudock as goalkeepers. Azmi was released to make room for Woods, having never appeared in a match.

Woods has been the goalkeeping coach at Everton in the English Premier League for the past 13 years.