"Omar is doing well, but he is a young player ," says Clavijo, "and teams are aggressively tackling Christian, shall we say, every time he gets the ball."
Murphy left last week at the behest of Clavijo, who in preseason had apparently reached an agreement to hire former U.S. goalkeeper Juergen Sommer, only for Sommer to back out, apparently because of a very heavy workload at a moderate salary. Murphy's role had been altered with the arrival of assistant coach Gary Smith in preseason and according to Clavijo, wasn't willing to work solely with the goalkeepers.
Murphy had missed games and training sessions to finish up coaching classes overseas. He will stay on as the club's director of player development.
"He was missing 10 days here, five days there," says Clavijo. "I knew what his schedule was going to be but he definitely did a couple of things I did not like. It was my decision. He obviously has his mind on doing other things and that's fine, but I need people who can work with me on what we are trying to accomplish here."
Smith, who worked in England with Wimbledon, Wycombe and Watford and holds a UEFA 'A' coaching badge, will continue as assistant coach. Former Rapids and San Jose Clash keeper David Kramer will soon join the staff to work with the goalies.
"I was given a very good assistant in Gary Smith, and he has been a great asset to my team and my staff, absolutely," says Clavijo of Smith, who was hired by managing director Jeff Plush. "He has brought a lot of knowledge and a good background.
"I think we are moving in the right direction. We have been missing players because of suspensions and callups and injuries. I think we can be a very, very good team, but we are a prototype, not the finished product."