November 11 2008
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Gary Smith New Head Coach and Pablo Mastroeni Re-Signing Colorado Rapids Press Conference exclusive quote sheet
Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush:
"As you know a couple of weeks ago we finished our season in gut-wrenching fashion but I think we learned a lot in that process and I am very excited to announce today that Gary Smith will have the ‘Interim’ taken off of his title and will become the head coach for the Colorado Rapids. It is a job that he has earned.
"We are very pleased with where we went in the last 11 games of the season. He took a situation where we were not performing well we were at the bottom of the table in mid-August and he took it to the 90th minute on October 25th. I think we all know that we are good enough to be playing today. The team was performing in a manner that we can be proud of and in a style that we think we can call our own.
"This announcement is positive for our organization we are thrilled to make it and it is my sincere pleasure to announce Gary Smith as our head coach.
"Pablo as you know is our long time captain and representative on the U.S. Men’s National Team and we are very pleased to announce that we have signed Pablo to a contract extension that will keep him in Denver for as long as he hopes to play.
"I am very excited about that Pablo is the cornerstone of what we have been and what we want to be going forward. I think the fact that he has chosen to stay here instead of take other options speaks to the direction we are going speaks to his character and integrity and speaks to his relationship with Gary and where we know we are going to be overtime."
Rapids New Head Coach Gary Smith:
"Well I am obviously delighted that the question at the end of the season was posed to me. When you are in charge and are looking to win football games especially as someone standing in trying to push the team in the right direction to be asked the question if I would like to take the team over and move on in a positive direction means that the group has done well.
"I am delighted that I was asked that question. I am excited about the future of the club and think it will be very positive moving forward."
Rapids Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni:
"I can honestly say it wasn’t a hard decision for me. Over the last two months with Gary at the helm completely changed my mind about where I wanted to be where my heart was. Coming out to training everyday and sharing the field with my teammates in a competitive environment in an environment that I have wanted for years at the club level and unfortunately only found at the National Team level we found that this year.
"I want to be here I want to commit to a place not only for myself but for my family. Colorado is a place that has formed me into the player that I’ve become and I feel obligated to at least give back by putting some hardware in the clubhouse winning some championships and being serious.
"I’m pleased to be here I’m excited about the change and the direction the organization is going and most importantly I’m excited to be playing along side some of the leagues best players.
"What Gary brought to the team for me anyways was a profound love for the sport.
"When I got in my car every morning I thought about the training session and thought about what I needed to do to be the best player at training session today. Those are feelings I haven’t had in many many years."
(To view an exclusive photo gallery from the press conference click here).