With the Rapids opening their doors to players this morning for the start of preseason, Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo confirmed the team’s coaching staff that will be in place moving forward. Pablo Mastroeni will be leading a staff of experienced coaches, many of whom have been in Colorado for several years.
While Bravo oversees all of the soccer operations for the Rapids, including player transactions, overseeing the technical staff, and other duties, Mastroeni will have a more hands-on role while the team works toward making a decision on a head coach.
“Pablo will be in charge of all our first team activities as we start preseason,” Bravo told ColoradoRapids.com. “As we get all our players in and start our work to get ready for the regular season, he will be at the head of our group of coaches.”
In addition to Mastroeni, who was named Special Assistant to the Technical Director in the week leading up to the Jan. 16 MLS SuperDraft, the club also has several experienced coaches working with the first team, in John Metgod, Steve Cooke, and Chris Sharpe.
“John is still in his role as a consultant for us, and Steve Cooke is going to have a much more in-depth role with the first team,” said Bravo. “Chris Sharpe will oversee our goalkeepers, their training and schedules.”
Metgod was named a consultant to the technical staff on Jan. 9, coming most recently from Derby County in England but with a long coaching resume that includes time in the English Premier League, Dutch clubs Feyenoord and Excelsior, and a playing career that included stints with Nottingham Forest, Tottenham Hotspur, and Real Madrid.
Cooke and Sharpe have each been with the Rapids for several years, with Cooke coming to Colorado full-time in early 2010. The Sheffield, England native has been coaching for more than 20 years and holds the UEFA “A” and USSF “A” Coaching Licenses.
Sharpe served as a league pool goalkeeper in MLS from 2008-2012, training primarily with the Rapids, having previously played professionally in Denmark, England, and his native Australia. He has long served as the goalkeeping director for the Rapids Academy, and his role with the first team was expanded in 2013.
The staff addressed many of the players on Saturday morning at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, as most Rapids players have returned to Colorado and are undergoing their medical examinations. The team will have Sunday off before doing physical testing on Monday and Tuesday, with the first full-team practice on Wednesday.