So which camp do you find yourself in, Colorado Rapids fans? Do you believe Pablo Mastroeni should receive an extension on his contract as manager, or should the front office make a change?
Let’s make this easy: Pablo Mastroeni should roam the sidelines as manager for at least one more year.
Why? A number of reasons.
It’s the record, stupid.
Sorry I couldn’t replicate the Ross Perot voice, but consider the records, which by now many of you have memorized. The Rapids are 14-5-12 (if you’re new to our little slice of Burgundy paradise, that’s 14 wins, five losses, and 12 ties), giving them 54 points. If the Rapids win their next three games, they have the Supporters Shield. Think on that, gang. Could you imagine at the end of 2014 or 2015 uttering that possibility without laughing?
In 2014, the Rapids got a whopping 32 points (8-8-18), beating out the San Jose Earthquakes by just two points for worst in the West. That year started off promising, but the last half tailed off into a dumpster fire. For the most part, fans gave Mastroeni a pass due to the circumstances by which he came to the job when Oscar Pareja left just weeks before the season began.
Last year, the Rapids accumulated 37 points, with a 9-10-15 (W-L-T) record. If they were in a European league, they would have been relegated. Only the Chicago Fire fared worse. Here, the murmuring grew. And grew. And grew. The offseason after the 2014 season brought about calls for the front office to make a move. Given the results over the last two seasons, fans felt the incompetence of the front office was not only significant, but embarrassing. No one could see a plan in place. Even I echoed Taylor Twellman’s analysis of a leadership and vision vacuum back in January of this year.
So, let’s do a little math: Pablo Mastroeni’s record the first two years was 17-18-33 for a total of 69 points. Being a season ticket holder those two years gave me pause, and I wondered if this ship would be righted.
So this year, the Rapids have a chance to accrue almost as many points this year, setting a franchise record, as they did in 2014 and 2015 combined.
Given the improvement, how could the Rapids in all good conscience dismiss Mastroeni when fighting for the Supporters Shield.
Having Said That...
He should only receive a one-year extension, regardless of Supporters Shield or MLS Cup winning. The front office did yeoman’s work in providing talented players. When those talented players weren’t around, the coaching shortcomings were exposed even more—talent can often overcome tactics. If the Rapids stay strong in 2017, more conversations are needed and we may see him roaming the sidelines in 2018.
So what’s your hashtag? #KeepPablo or #PabloOut? Sound off!