COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Saturday, March 8, 2014) – The Colorado Rapids announced today that Pablo Mastroeni has been named the club’s new Head Coach. The Rapids legend, who retired this offseason after playing more than 11 seasons in Colorado, has been in charge of the first team throughout preseason, and now takes the role on a permanent basis.
Mastroeni was presented to Rapids fans at the Centennial 38 Supporters Group Kickoff Party today, and will be available to media after today’s 3 p.m. intrasquad scrimmage at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“We are thrilled to name Pablo Mastroeni our head coach, and everyone at the club is excited for his tenure to begin,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “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.”
“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,” said Mastroeni. “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.”
“For a long time, Pablo Mastroeni has been an icon and a leader at this club, and he has the respect of everyone here, from the players through to the staff,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “He is committed to this club and our project, and I look forward to working closely with him in his new position.”
Mastroeni has led the Rapids since early January, overseeing all first team activities as the team went 4-2-2 in preseason matches. Under his leadership, the team has played an up-tempo, passing and possession style of play, and he has affirmed his commitment to the Rapids’ ideal of providing an opportunity for young players to prove themselves and earn significant minutes.
The announcement came at the Centennial 38 Supporters Group Kickoff Party, which runs until 5 p.m. this evening. Mastroeni is expected to leave the C38 event at approximately 1:30 p.m. to head to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Rapids will have an open intrasquad scrimmage at 3 p.m. Media may attend and speak to Mastroeni following the match.
A Rapids legend as a player, Mastroeni retired from Major League Soccer following the 2013 season, closing his career as Colorado’s most decorated player. He was named to the MLS All-Star Team in his first seven years with the club (2002-2008), and earning Rapids MVP honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He holds club records in games played, games started, and minutes played, and served as the Rapids captain from late 2004 until his trade to the LA Galaxy during the 2013 season.
In a 16-year MLS career with Miami, Colorado and LA, Mastroeni was a nine-time All-Star and played 334 MLS regular season matches, eighth most in MLS history, and 27,522 minutes, fifth on the all-time list and second among non-goalkeepers. Also a veteran with the United States National Team, Mastroeni played for the U.S. at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, and won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the team in 2005 and 2007. He made a total of 65 appearances for the U.S.
The Rapids will travel to face the New York Red Bulls in the team’s first match of the 2014 MLS regular season on Saturday, March 15, with a live broadcast on Altitude with Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa. Colorado will hold its Home Opener against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, March 22 at 4 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. For more information on the club, or to purchase season tickets, visit www.ColoradoRapids.com or call 303-825-GOAL303-825-GOAL.