Robin Frazier was sitting in his office at DICK’S sporting goods park with the TV on, looking for the right channel. With several laptops open on his desk as he tried to stream Fox Soccer Plus, Frazier struggled with feelings of nervousness and pride as he watched his daughter take to the field for the first time in a US national team jersey at the age of just 16.
“By the end of this entire qualifying round, I literally had four computers and an iPad trying to make sure I got the last game,” Robin said.
His daughter, Nicola “Nicky” Frazier, was called up to the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team camp ahead of the World Championship qualifying run in the Dominican Republic this spring. Not only did she play in the age group, but the defender also scored five caps and one goal in the qualifying round, visiting just one national camp in her young career.
For a father who has been in the game for nearly five decades, this is one of Robin’s proudest moments. Thirteen years ago, he could only guess about her football career, when three-year-old Niki tried to pass the ball at her older sister’s practice, but fell every time.
“I have a distinct memory that whenever I hit the ball, I kept falling – before I just hit the deck,” Nicky said. “And he was so annoyed with me in a playful way. It was my first memory of him being involved when I was a child.”
Since Robin returned to Colorado after playing for the New York Red Bulls, Toronto and Chivas USA, they spent a lot of time together. The Rapids head coach attends his daughter’s practices and games whenever he can and gives his opinion on her performance. When COVID hit the league in 2020, the duo took advantage of the absence of school and the Rapids’ responsibilities and trained four days a week for three hours a day.
“It’s nice to see him here again because he is involved in my life and he always has a solution,” Nicky said. “He just always has something to say, he always has a solution for every problem. He knows how to fix it, or at least he gives me ideas. Therefore, I never get upset when he says something to me or criticizes me. I just always know it’s coming from a place where he knows what he’s talking about. So it’s a consolation that I can always go to him.”
The father-daughter duo of Frazier now go down in history as the national players of the United States for generations. With her first appearance for the youth team against Costa Rica, Niki became the second daughter of a US national team player to earn a cap at any level of the US women’s national team program. Another duo is Chicago Red Stars linebacker Vanessa DiBernardo and her father Angelo.
However, there is already one difference between the two: Nicky, 84 minutes closer to a 13-0 win over Puerto Rico, cemented her in the history books as the only Frazier to score a goal in a World Cup qualifier, a feat by Robin. was unsuccessful in his 27 matches for USMNT.
“My little one has already surpassed me,” said Robin with a proud smile.
Despite the difference between the pair, the similarities are more than enough.
Robin ended his career at number 4 in the Stars and Stripes heritage, which Nicky says she wants to keep. But when both Frasers started playing for the United States, the preferred 4 was already taken and they each settled for number 2 to start their national careers.
Niki also plays on the back line, like her father, only she plays on the left flank, and he plays at the center back position. The pair’s playing style also emulates each other’s, despite the fact that Robin retired before Nicky was born, much less able to observe his father’s prowess with the ball.
“When I watch her play, the amount of things she does the same as me is just insane,” Robin said. “Recently we made a highlight video to send out a few universities to Nicky and I sent it to my best friend in Jamaica and his first comment was ‘I can’t believe how much she plays like you’. She’s my mini-me, only she’s better at it.”
Robin can pinpoint some of her proudest memories as the father of a burgeoning talent like Nicki, including witnessing her call-up to the World Championship squad and watching her progress from being worried about poor training to being one of the the best players. in the regional camp for boys under 14 in 2020. They congratulated each other together in the car after Nika’s workout, when head coach Natalia Astrein welcomed her to the under-17 squad.
Despite the fact that football takes up a lot of time for the Frasers, they find time for other things together. Mountain biking, outdoor activities whenever possible, and time spent in the kitchen are the top priorities for Robin and Niki.
Nicky’s culinary talents lie in baking, while Robin loves to cook. The pair even taught the Rapids faithful how to make the perfect apple crumble during quarantine in the 2020 Master Class Team Series.
For a family like the Frasers, vacations can become an afterthought when travel, games, and conflicting schedules come into play. Father’s Day falls on the same day as the Rapids’ matchup with reigning MLS Cup champion NYCFC this year. Robin said that the absence of a celebration on that day was irrelevant.
“I feel like every Father’s Day is some kind of football chaos, but I feel like Father’s Day is every day we hang out,” he said. “We spend so much time together – we’ve definitely had since I got back to Colorado – it really felt like every day is Father’s Day.”