Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
The Colorado Rapids wanted to hire a club legend to be their next head coach. On Saturday, they did just that.
The Rapids announced that former captain and midfielder Pablo Mastroeni has been named the team’s head coach, just one week before the Rapids play their season opener. Mastroeni had been taking the head coaching duties during all of preseason while the Rapids searched for a replacement for current FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja.
“It is a great honor to take this new position at the Rapids, a club which means a great deal to me and my family,” Mastroeni said in a statement. “I would like to thank the Kroenke family, Tim Hinchey and Paul Bravo for this great opportunity. I have seen this team’s ability and potential up close over the last two months, and I can’t wait for the season to get started.”
Mastroeni retired from a 16-year career in MLS last December, spending nearly all his career with the Rapids after starting with the Miami Fusion and finishing with the LA Galaxy. The 37-year-old coach was a nine-time MLS All-Star, an MLS Cup Champion, and was capped 65 times with the U.S. Men’s National Team during his playing career.
The Rapids allowed Pareja to leave in early January just prior to the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The club were reportedly burned by the decision, and wanted to take their time finding a new head coach that they felt would remain with the club for the long term.
“We are thrilled to name Pablo Mastroeni our head coach, and everyone at the club is excited for his tenure to begin,” Rapids President Tim Hinchey said in a statement. “We underwent a deliberate search, and Pablo’s experience, approach, and the work he did throughout preseason proved to us that he is the right man for this role.”
The Rapids open the 2014 MLS season with a trip to Red Bull Arena on March 15 to face the New York Red Bulls.
What do you think of this news? Did you expect Mastroeni to become head coach? How do you see him performing from the sidelines in his debut season?
Share your thoughts below.