Pablo Mastroeni has apparently gone from a secondary 'well I guess it makes some sense, why not?' type candidate in the Rapids coaching search to the favorite in about two nights. Pablo was getting mentioned as soon as the Rapids FO made it clear that they would be looking at former players in their coaching search, but we were still expecting that the job would go to someone with some head coaching experience in the past, like Robin Fraser or John Spencer.
Several different big names in the American soccer community have now stepped in and started to say that Mastroeni is not only a candidate for the head coaching job, but may very well be the favorite. Indeed, other than mentions of Spencer and Fraser in Ives' original story about Oscar Pareja leaving the Rapids, he's really the only name we can be sure of in the race right now. That might be because the full-scale search for a coach hasn't started yet (and, as mentioned, probably won't until after the draft) but it's worth keeping an eye on.
Mastroeni strikes me as a Jason Kreis-type hire. He's a very well respected and hard working former player and one of the most notable men in team history, who knows the club well and where the club wants to go. Obviously, there's no evidence that his tactical ability is going to match Kreis' at any point -- then again, that's a pretty mean bar to set -- but it would provide an easy transition into next year with a respected leader at the helm if he were to be the new coach. We'll have to wait and see.