The Colorado Rapids will finally begin the 2014 Major League Soccer campaign a week after MLS First Kick. For the Rapids, the season will commence at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, against the New York Red Bulls. Colorado was initially scheduled to open the season against San Jose on March 8th at Buck Shaw Stadium. However, the Northern Californian club had a CONCACAF Champions League match against Mexican side Toluca on Tuesday, and MLS officials agreed to postpone the league fixture.
Colorado (0-0-0) will begin the 2014 season with news just one week ago that club legend Pablo Mastroeni has officially been named head coach for the club. One of the worst-kept secrets was finally confirmed during the Centennial 38 supporters kickoff party at the Celtic Tavern in downtown Denver. President Tim Hinchey, Pablo Mastroeni, captain Drew Moor, and veteran Brian Mullan greeted jubilant fans and applauded Mastroeni's appointment as the new manager. Rapids fans can also welcome Jose Mari as the Spanish midfielder recently put pen to paper on a free transfer from Real Zaragosa of Spain's La Liga.
Meanwhile, New York (0-1-0) recently offered head coach Mike Petke a contract extension. The former Rapids and New York player has been rewarded for guiding the Red Bulls to the Supporter's Shield trophy last season. On the weekend, The Red Bulls opened their 2014 campaign with a 4-1 loss at the BC Place against the Vancouver Whitecaps in British Columbia. Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips found a late consolation goal, but it came long after New York were condemned to a heavy defeat.
Pablo Mastroeni has been the leader of the club during all of preseason, as well as overseeing the MLS Superdraft with John Metgod, a scout and special advisor to the Rapids technical staff. Many fans have welcomed the appointment of Mastroeni, who also appeared in two FIFA World Cups (2002, 2006) for the United States National Team. Colorado are ready to start the 2014 season and will face a New York side that will be looking for a boost in confidence after losing heavily in Vancouver during their season opener.