New England Soccer Today

Nicol rejects Rapids?

Steve Nicol reportedly isn't interested in joining Colorado as head coach. (Photo by Art Donahue/

Former New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol turned down a possible chance to jump right back into coaching in Major League Soccer with the Colorado Rapids, according to a report on Nicol was reportedly offered the opportunity to interview for the vacant position with the Rapids, but rejected the chance.

Nicol, whose contract was not renewed after the Revs missed the playoffs this year for the second consecutive season, had coached New England since 2002. Nicol has been in the Boston area since moving to the United States in 1999. He first coached the Boston Bulldogs from 1999-2001, with a brief two game interim stint as head coach of the Revs in 1999, before joining the Revolution as an assistant coach in 2002 and then earning the head coach job permanently after a successful interim stint to end the season.

Nicol could hardly be faulted for not wanting to uproot his family from the area after 13 years, but apparently he had other reasons for rejecting the position. According to the report, Nicol was turned off from the position, at least in part, because of rumors that former head coach Gary Smith was forced out when he didn’t accept being told who he could sign by technical director Paul Bravo.

Had Nicol joined the Rapids, he would’ve been reunited with former Revolution midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson, both of whom he had drafted while head coach of New England. He also would’ve inherited a squad just 12 months removed from winning MLS Cup 2010.

While New England has since replaced Nicol with former defender Jay Heaps, the Rapids are still in search of a new coach.

Should Nicol join a team in MLS before next season as head coach, he’ll continue to extend his current record of 10 consecutive seasons as head coach in the league.


  1. Julian Cardillo

    November 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

    For me, Nicol will always be a top MLS coach. But I think one on his flaws that has been magnified as of late is his desire to drop off and defend after taking a lead. In this age of MLS, you almost always have to pursue another goal.

  2. Jim

    November 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Why would Nicol want to work for another ownership group that treats its MLS property as an afterthought?

  3. Dee Ceetwo

    November 28, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Love to see Steve back in England or Scotland. Gary Smith was right to go from Colorado. And Steve was right to turn them down. He would make a great college or university coach. Big time school with downtrodden soccer program might like to give him a job. He would be an excellent talent developer, knowing the next step for young players as he does.

  4. Tommy

    November 29, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Actually Gary Smith was fired, he didn’t quit. The Rapids choose not to re-sign him when his contract was up.

    But its still true, with Smith telling the media that Colorado Front Office interferes with coaching decisions, who would want to work there?

    I hope Nicol stays close to MLS, he is a legend.

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