COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Tuesday, January 31, 2012) – The Colorado Rapids and Head Coach Oscar Pareja have set the club’s full technical staff for the 2012 season, with Wilmer Cabrera joining as an Assistant Coach. Cabrera, who represented Colombia at two World Cups (1990 and 1998), served until recently as the head coach of the United States Under-17 National Team.
Joining Pareja and Cabrera on the technical staff are Assistant Coach Paul Caffrey and Goalkeeper Coach David Kramer. Caffrey had served as Cabrera’s assistant with the U.S. U-17’s, while Kramer begins his fifth season on the Rapids staff, having joined the club in June 2008. The staff will also return Fitness Coach John Ireland, Team Administrator Erik Carlson, Head Athletic Trainer Jaime Rojas, and Equipment Manager Carlos Garcia.
“Wilmer is a talented, experienced coach, and his presence will strengthen our whole club,” said Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “With Wilmer, Paul Caffrey, David Kramer and the rest of the staff, we have all the pieces in place, and we’re eager to get the season started.”
“We’re thrilled to have such an experienced and accomplished group leading our team,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “The work that our technical staff has done at every level of soccer will help us continue to develop and improve our team.”
Cabrera comes to the Rapids after serving more than four years as the head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, during which time the team twice qualified to the FIFA U-17 World Cup (2009 and 2011) and advanced to the round of 16 both times. The native of Cartagena, Colombia had a 20-year professional playing career in Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica and the United States, and also played 48 times with the Colombian National Team.
Caffrey has spent the last four years with the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team as Cabrera’s assistant coach, and worked alongside Pareja, who was also with the team in 2007-08. From 2002-2007, Caffrey was the head coach of Suffolk County Community College of the National Junior College Athletic Association, helping the team to two consecutive national final four appearances (2003, 2004) and earning National Soccer Coaches Association of America Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2004 and the Region XV Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2006. The native of Dublin, Ireland was a four year starter and three year captain at Adelphi University, and appeared in the European Cup Winners Cup in 1985 for University College of Dublin F.C. of the League of Ireland.
David Kramer enters his fifth season as Goalkeeper Coach with the Rapids, having worked closely with Matt Pickens, Steward Ceus and Ian Joyce, among others. Under Kramer, Pickens has set career-high marks in many categories, as well as earned call-ups to the United States National Team, and Ceus has become the starter for the Haiti National Team. In a seven-year MLS career with Los Angeles, San Jose, and Colorado, he appeared in 106 matches, with 98 starts, and posted 15 shutouts. Kramer played in 42 games for the Rapids from 2000-2002, including eight playoff matches.