It's going to be die if you do, die if you don't in the eyes of some fans regardless of how the Rapids coaching search ends at this point. There is only about a week until the season starts, and the Rapids have still not officially named a coach. We've all had it in the back of our minds that Pablo Mastroeni was going to be the choice for weeks now, mostly due to his being the interim coach for the entire preseason, but the managerial hat still has not landed definitively on a candidate's head yet.
We've heard varying numbers of coaching candidates have gone through the pipeline in Colorado, but no names have officially came out. All the while, Pablo's Rapids have chugged through the preseason while we've waited for his replacement.
There's a bit of a Sophie's Choice for the Rapids now. We've already heard the arguments against making Pablo the coach right off the bat before. Some people have even gone so far as to say it'd be wasting a season to make Pablo the manager thanks to his lack of managerial experience, with most assuming he'll be far more of a Pareja than a Petke if given the job.
But what would happen if they announced today that they were hiring an experienced man out of the blue instead, with 16 days before Colorado's first game?
We know that the Rapids will have a bit of an advantage when it comes to learning a system (more than, say, the 2012 team had when Oscar Pareja was slotted in with only a few months to try and completely revamp four years of clog 'n' hoof goodness) because of the 'team-wide philosophy' that the Rapids have been talking about for quite some time now; the idea is that it will guarantee that the new coach will play the same sort of system and formation as we saw for most of last year. Regardless though, a new coach with any level of experience, even though he will have to buy into the same sort of system that Oscar Pareja built, will be guaranteed to have his own tweaks and instructions. It's easy to say that a team will keep playing a 4-2-3-1 with deep possession and fast-break attacks. It's going to be impossible to play it exactly the same as they did last year if you're not Oscar Pareja, especially with lynchpin Hendry Thomas out of the picture.
So, hiring a new guy with only a week before the season starts (and two weeks before Colorado's season starts, thanks San Jose) is probably a bad idea. Actually, scratch the 'probably' part of that. It's a horrible idea. Arguments against hiring Pablo aside (I don't agree with the majority of those arguments to be fair, but there are plenty of people who wanted a guy with experience instead from the beginning) at this point bringing in experience would probably be even worse.
Official 'naming' aside, Pablo has been the coach of the team for a month now, has worked with this roster both last year and through this off-season, and is probably more willing than anyone else they're going to find to keep that system continuity in place. (Indeed, there have been some exciting looking attacking plays strung together when the starting offense has been together in preseason.) They aren't going to get that with an outside hire at this point; it'll be the choice between a possibly wasted season with Mastroeni or an almost guaranteed waste with
AVB whoever they decide on otherwise.
What I'm saying here is hey, Rapids? Just announce Pablo already so that we can stop worrying about this whole ordeal and stop the hundreds of tweets talking about the 'team with no coach'.