"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity" (The Apostle Paul to Timothy, 1 Timothy 4:12, ESV).
A quick peak at the Wikipedia page for Pablo Mastroeni shows that, as the Rapids invested in him as a young player over the long haul, so they should invest in young, talented, promising players now.
After recent news that Dillon Powers may follow Deshorn Brown and Shane O'Neill to Europe. While we wish them all the best, and recognize that teams from all over the world will come calling, and we recognize the fee that will go toward the Colorado Rapids in order to purchase other players, when will the time come that we build around a young player and invest in them long-term?
Pablo Mastroeni played for the Miami Fusion from 1998-2001, then went to the Rapids and played from 2002-2013, for a total of 225 appearances. He played in two World Cups (2002 and 2006) along with other important caps for the USMNT. So clearly, he had incredible talent and even a chip on his shoulder (he wore the #25 on his uniform as a reminder that he was the last player taken on the roster with Miami).
But what catches my eye is that we have a former Rookie of the Year (2013) who is on trial in Reading. Shane O'Neill earned the Rapids Young Player of the Year Award in 2013, starting as a rookie. Deshorn Brown? Runner up to 2013 Rookie of the Year Dillon Powers! Think of it, the first and second place players in the MLS in 2013 were on our team--and now one is gone, and the other seems to be going. And O'Neill? You got it--gone as well!
Maybe the loyalty is only extended to Pablo Mastroeni as a man--as a player (again, 225 appearances) and a manager. Will that loyalty, will that investment extend to anyone else?
See, this is just another issue in a long line of issues that's bring a burgundy cloud over Rapid fandom. Going back to that infamous open forum the front office put on, did they not say that they would love to have a Dillon Powers to build their team around, both on the pitch and in promotional aspects for the Rapids? Then what are they doing?
So here we are again? Maybe if the Rapids had more success over the last couple of years, we'd be giving them more of a pass that we are. But one thing about Rapids fans: we have a bright bunch who know soccer. Veteran leadership on the field is important, but if that mindset existed in 2002 through 2013, we'd have no legend named Pablo Mastroeni.
In closing, Rapids fans need some hope. We need to know that our team is not just a farm club for the world, but that they are working to make this organization of such high quality and to make DSGP such a fortress, that the world will want to come to us. Something has to change! Give us some hope.