Despite having his name volleyed about the transfer market, connected to various head coaching positions, Red Bull head coach Mike Petke says his valued assistant isn’t going anywhere.
“No one is a bigger supporter of Robin Fraser than I am. He has been the best for not only me personally, but for the club. He is on the staff,” Petke said in a press conference Wednesday morning.
The second-year coach takes his proclamation a step further, throwing doubt on whether any report linking Fraser to another MLS team is true.
“He is on the coaching staff and there are rules to follow in the league,” he explains. “At this moment, unless something has been kept from me internally, which I doubt very highly, we have not been contacted by Colorado, Jamaica or whoever. It has to go through that protocol.”
Speaking to people close to the situation, EOS has learned that part of Fraser’s initial agreement to join the club last year was a gentlemen’s understanding that the former U.S. National defender would be given leeway to entertain head coaching offers if they presented themselves the following season. Fraser has certainly done his part in exploiting that opportunity, pursuing an RSL vacancy prior to the hiring of Jeff Cassar and even speaking openly to Jamaica’s Gleaner publication about a role in their National program.
Still, it is quite late in the game, and if anyone knows the hardships a coach faces with just days to prepare for a season, it is Mike Petke.
“I think Robin has been around the league enough that he knows it wouldn’t be the best case two weeks before preseason to have people contacting for him,” says Petke, who can talk from experience.
“That is the nature of the business – it could happen. As far as I know, he is going to be with us. He is definitely with us now. We have had meetings. He is eager to be here so I expect him to be with the New York Red Bulls, of course.”