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Colorado Rapids close to replacing head coach Smith

Colorado Rapids are believed to be close to signing a new head coach following the departure of Gary Smith.

The Englishman left the Rapids this off-season after initially joining as an assistant in early 2008 to Fernando Clavijo whom he replaced later that season. After a successful 2010 campaign in which he guided Colorado to the MLS Cup, Smith was wanted long-term by the club but could not see eye-to-eye with technical director Paul Bravo or managing director Jeff Plush.

Now Bravo has revealed that the Denver outfit are closing in on a new boss to lead the club into 2012 and beyond.

"We feel that we need to find a person who has a working knowledge of league rules, someone who understands the draft process and also the link between the business and playing side," Bravo told MLSsoccer.com.

"It should be before the first of the year. We have to find the best fit for the club."

Bravo, however, did rule out former Argentina star Claudio Lopez who played for the Rapids in 2010 and now has a role with the club's youth academy.

"Not so much on the coaching side but we would like to use him as a resource," Bravo said. "He is living in Córdoba [Argentina] and he has the ability to open doors for us, not only in Argentina but in all of Latin America.

"He is a worldwide name and we would like nothing more than to have him involved with the club. We are still trying to feel around and are keeping an open line of communication with him."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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