Colorado Rapids announced today that club legend and current VP of Soccer Operations and Technical Director Paul Bravo was inducted into the Colorado Soccer Hall of Fame during a ceremony held on Saturday evening.
“We are so proud of Paul and this well-deserved honor,” said Rapids President, Tim Hinchey. “Paul has dedicated his life to our sport.
“Although he is best known for his successful career at the collegiate and professional levels, his true passion has been youth and player development. This is a fitting honor for all he has done and continues to do for soccer in our great state.”
As the Vice President of Soccer Operations and Technical Director, Bravo remains in charge of all aspects of the first team, Rapids Academy, partnerships with the Rapids adidas Alliance clubs, all scouting domestically and internationally, and other responsibilities that help continue to grow the club.
During his playing days with the Rapids from 1997-2001, Bravo helped lead Colorado to their first MLS Cup Championship game in 1997 and the club’s first-ever appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament in 1998. The former U.S. international was a three-time MLS All-Star (1996, 1998, and 1999), ranks second all-time in goals (39) and has the most game-winning goals (12) and multi-goal games (seven) in Rapids history.
Bravo is one of only nine players to play more than 10,000 minutes for the club and ranks in the top ten in games played, games started, minutes played, assists, shots and shots on goal.
At the international level, Bravo made four appearances for the U.S. from 1994-99, scoring one goal and registering an assist. He 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 later, 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 only goal for the national team, a game-winner in the 28th minute of a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the 3rd place game of that same tournament.
After finishing his playing career, he served two years as an assistant coach for the Rapids before taking a similar role at UCLA for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, helping the Bruins to two Pac-10 Championships and a two-year record of 26-9-5. During his two years at UCLA, 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.
He then joined the LA Galaxy as an assistant coach from 2006-2008, before first becoming a technical director with the California club from 2007-09 prior to returning to Colorado as Technical Director on January 9, 2009.
Bravo spearheaded the coaching searches that led to the hiring of Oscar Pareja in 2012 and Pablo Mastroeni in 2014, as well as a transition in the club’s style of play into a more attacking game, which is now in use through the club’s Academy teams.
In 2013, the Rapids Under-16 team finished third out of the 80 top youth clubs in the country, topping the Under-18 squad’s mark of finishing sixth nationally, accomplished in 2012.