If you did not see the move coming, you simply weren't paying attention. After a roller coaster-esque preseason, the Rapids finally turned the 'interim' tag into a full-on managerial one. Pablo Mastroeni was officially named the team's manager during the Centennial 38 Kick-Off party earlier today, ending what was at one point a period of speculation and then, for a longer time, simply a period of us saying, "Get on with it, already!."
There will be some people trying to talk about this as a shock hire, or a foolish move because they waited too long to make him the manager. These people are incorrect. He's been the head coach for well over a month at this point, taking over shortly after the beginning of the preseason. Anyone paying attention has known without a doubt that Pablo was going to get the job at this point, if not only because there eventually came a point where the idea of hiring anyone else would have actually been ridiculous.
They made a search for another coach that would fit what they needed (that is, someone who they trusted to handle the current roster and, at the same time, be willing to play the style that they've inherited from Oscar Pareja) and he was the best fit. Professional athletes do not have such fragile egos that being forced to work for a man they all respect, but who is merely interim, will make them slowly rebel and not trust him.
But that's a story for another day. Discussions on his tactical ability, coaching strategy and roster management techniques are all mysteries at the moment, and are best conducted later. Today, we're celebrating the return of a Rapids legend in a coaching role. His team went 4-2-2 in preseason and showed some intriguing promise, but there's no reason to base anything off preseason. We'll see just how he and his team do in a week when they head to New York for a big, big first test of the year.