Paul Bravo

Paul Bravo (born June 19, 1968 in Campbell, California) is an American former soccer player who was most recently head coach of NISA side Oakland Roots SC. He played six seasons in Major League Soccer, two in the American Professional Soccer League and two in the USISL. He also earned four caps, scoring one goal, with the United States men's national soccer team. After his retirement from playing, Bravo served for several years as an assistant coach in both Major League Soccer and the NCAA and was most recently Technical Director for the Colorado Rapids.

Paul Bravo
Personal information
Date of birth (1968-06-19) June 19, 1968
Place of birth Campbell, California, United States
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder / Forward
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
19881989 Santa Clara Broncos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
19911992 San Francisco Bay Blackhawks 25 (3)
1993 San Jose Hawks
1994 San Francisco Greek-Americans
1995 Monterey Bay Jaguars 19 (19)
1996 San Jose Clash 31 (13)
19972001 Colorado Rapids 135 (39)
National team
19941999 United States 4 (1)
Teams managed
20022003 Colorado Rapids (assistant)
20042005 UCLA (assistant)
20062008 Los Angeles Galaxy (assistant)
20092016 Colorado Rapids (technical director)
2019 Oakland Roots
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



Bravo was a student-athlete at Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, California.[1][2] He then played two years of college soccer at Foothill Community College and winning State Championships and while at Santa Clara University and helped his team to the NCAA co-championship in 1989.[1] While he left college early, he continued to work on his education and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Santa Clara in 1993.


In 1991, Bravo signed with the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks of the American Professional Soccer League (APSL). He earned Rookie of the Year honors that season as the Blackhawks took the APSL championship. In 1993, the Blackhawks ownership moved the team to the lower division USISL and renamed the team the San Jose Hawks. Despite the reduced team costs, the Hawks folded at the end of the 1993 season. Bravo then remained in the San Francisco area with the San Francisco Greek-Americans, winning the U.S. Open Cup in 1994. In 1995, he moved to the Monterey Bay Jaguars. The San Jose Clash of Major League Soccer (MLS) drafted Bravo with the eighth overall pick of the MLS Inaugural Player Draft. Bravo spent just a season with San Jose, and, despite the presence of Eric Wynalda, led the team with thirteen goals. He was an MLS All Star this year. On December 15, 1996, the Clash traded Bravo and Rafael Amaya to the Colorado Rapids for Dominic Kinnear and a second round pick in the 1998 MLS Supplemental Draft. Bravo spent the next five years with Colorado, and would retire with a club record 39 league goals (he added five in the playoffs). In November 2001 the Rapids waived Bravo, but as no team chose to offer him a contract, he retired from playing professionally. In his six-year MLS career, Bravo scored 52 goals and added 27 assists. He repeated as an All Star in 1998 and 1999.

After his retirement, Bravo continued to play for the amateur Hollywood United F.C. in Los Angeles.[3]

National team

Bravo earned four caps for the United States national team. His first cap came in a December 11, 1994 tie with Honduras. He did not play again until April 22, 1995, a 1-0 loss to Belgium. In 1999, Bruce Arena called up Bravo for the 1999 Confederations Cup. He started the July 30, 1999 game against Germany, then earned his last cap in the third-place 2-0 victory against Saudi Arabia. The U.S. won that game on the strength of goals from both Bravo and Brian McBride.


After retiring as a player, Bravo went into coaching. He began as an assistant with the Colorado Rapids in 2002. In 2004, UCLA hired Bravo as an assistant to its men's soccer team. On June 15, 2006, he became an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS.[4] On August 24, 2007, he became the Galaxy's Director of Soccer.

On January 10, 2009, he was named as the Technical Director for the Colorado Rapids.[5] He signed a three-year contract extension with Colorado on February 1, 2012.[6]

In May 2019, Bravo was announced as the first head coach of Oakland Roots SC of the new National Independent Soccer Association.[7] On October 31, 2019, the club announced that it and Bravo had mutually agreed to part ways.[8]


  1. Knapp, Gwen (May 30, 1996). "Bravo is best-suited for soccer". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  2. "CIF/CENTRAL COAST SECTION ATHLETIC ALUMNI" (PDF). CIF Central Coast Section. September 15, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  3. Hollywood United Archived 2007-12-18 at the Wayback Machine, Feb 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  4. Paul Bravo Named Assistant Coach For LA Galaxy Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine June 15, 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  5. Bravo Named Rapids Technical Director
  7. "Oakland Roots name ex-MLS player Paul Bravo as head coach". SF Gate. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  8. "Oakland Roots and Paul Bravo Mutually Agree to Part Ways". Oakland Roots SC. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
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