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 Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids Announce Contract Extensions to Technical Staff

February 25, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Colorado Rapids News Release

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids announced today that assistant coaches Neil Emblen, Wolde Harris, Chris Little and Chris Sharpe, along with first team analyst Jase Kim, head athletic trainer Rick Guter and head of sports science & performance Ahron Thode, have all signed new, three-year contracts with the club through the 2025 MLS season.

"We're thrilled to secure our entire coaching staff for the foreseeable future and to reward them for the excellent work they have done alongside Robin over the past few seasons," said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager. "They've all played crucial roles in the club's success in recent years and we look forward to seeing them continue to build on this momentum."

Emblen is entering his sixth season as a Rapids assistant coach. He previously served as assistant coach for the New Zealand men's national team from 2011-14 and again from 2015-17 after a brief spell as interim head coach. Emblen also led the New Zealand U-23 side at the 2012 London Olympics. A native of Bromley, England, Emblen played professionally as a central defender/midfielder for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, where he made over 230 appearances, as well as Millwall, Crystal Palace and Norwich City, among other clubs.

Harris joined the Rapids in 2021 after spending six years as an assistant with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the USL Championship, including a brief spell as interim head coach in 2019. He started his coaching career in 2010 with Jamaica's Kingston College before becoming an assistant at his alma mater, Clemson University, where he was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. Harris enjoyed a 14-year professional career that began in 1996 with the Colorado Foxes of the APSL and included four seasons with the Rapids, along with stints with the New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City, among other teams. Internationally, Harris made 28 appearances for the Jamaica National Team, scoring seven goals for the "Reggae Boyz."

Little is entering his third year with the Rapids after joining the club in 2021 as assistant coach with a focus on developing and integrating young players from the Rapids Academy. Little previously served as head coach of Tacoma Defiance during their time in the USL Championship, as well as director of coaching for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy. The Edinburgh, Scotland, native also previously held roles as director of coaching and player development for the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association and as head coach of Elon University.

Now into his eleventh season as Rapids assistant & goalkeeper coach, Sharpe originally joined the club as an MLS pool goalkeeper from 2008 to 2012 and was a member of the Rapids when they captured the 2010 MLS Cup. After retiring as a player, Sharpe became the Rapids' assistant goalkeeper coach in 2013. The Australian has also been the Rapids Academy Director of Goalkeeping since 2008, overseeing the development of several top prospects, including U.S. U-17 Men's National Team goalkeeper Adam Beaudry.

Kim joined the club in 2018 as head of analysis after several years with New Zealand Football as an analyst for their U-20 side ahead of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He later took the role of Head of Men's Performance Analysis for the New Zealand men's national team in 2015 before making the move to Colorado.

Guter has been the Rapids' head athletic trainer since 2019. Prior to joining the club, Guter worked with the U.S. men's and women's national teams, the New York Jets, the New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew and D.C. United across during his nearly three decades long career in sports medicine.

Thode joined the club ahead of the 2022 season as head of sports science & performance after spending over a decade in Europe with Denmark's Brøndby IF in a similar role. He completed his education at University of Colorado Boulder with a specialization in training at altitude.

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