Rapids Sack Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni by Chris Brown
Colorado Rapids sacked Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni Tuesday afternoon following a winless streak running back to July 1st.
The Rapids also announced that Steve Cooke, who had served as First Team Assistant Coach to Pablo Mastroeni since 2014, had been named Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2017 season.
2017 was Mastroeni’s fourth season in charge of Colorado. The Rapids finished at the bottom of the Western Conference table in both of Mastroeni’s first two seasons in charge of the club but flourished last year finishing second place in both the Western Conference and Supporter’s Shield standings and nearly made the MLS Cup final but were knocked out by eventual Champions Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Finals.
Mastroeni found success playing a defensive style of soccer that was difficult to watch at times, but effective none the less.
Mastroeni’s original three year contract was up at the end of the 2016 season but after a stellar season that included Colorado going unbeaten at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids offered Mastroeni a new contract.
Unfortunately, 2017 saw Colorado return to their place at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and the club seemed set on a new direction, trading away chunks of it’s rock solid defense and midfield in a effort to become more attacking minded. Mastroeni’s inability to get that offense going was ultimately his downfall.
Pablo played for the Rapids from 2002 to 2013 and was part of the 2010 Rapids side that won the organizations first and only MLS Cup.
“We would like to thank Pablo for his contributions to this organization, both as a player and as head coach,” said Rapids Sporting Director and Interim General Manager, Padraig Smith. “He has been dedicated to the growth of this club for over 15 years and played an instrumental role in many of our successes.”
Smith would go on to explain that “Unfortunately, we have fallen short of our expectations, and this decision was taken in the best interest of the players and the organization as a whole.”
Colorado currently sit on 21 points, level for last place in the Western Conference with expansion team Minnesota United.
Rapids Assistant Coaches Conor Casey and Chris Sharpe will stay on with the club, serving in their current capacity for at least the final 12 matches of the regular season.
Colorado currently sit ten points outside the final playoff spot and it’s extremely unlikely that the team will rebound to make the 2017 MLS Cup playoffs.