At the Media Roundtable on Tuesday, Colorado Rapids Team President Tim Hinchey told the assembled reporters that, if the Rapids have it their way, Pablo Mastroeni will be back as manager for 2017.
“It is our intention to have Pablo and his group back, but we’re going to sit down at the end of the season. Hopefully, which is after three more wins, and go from there. He’s done an amazing job, and he deserves all the accolades.”
Hinchey was all smiles when asked about whether Mastroeni deserved a contract extension. “More importantly, I’m just thrilled for Pablo. He’s worked awfully hard at his craft. He deserves everything that’s happened this year. It’s all been on him. So we’re thrilled about that.”
After a rough first two seasons as an MLS Head Coach, Mastroeni has had a fantastic third year at the helm. Pablo has been nominated alongside Patrick Viera and Jesse March for MLS Coach of the Year honors. The award will be announced on November 29.
Mastroeni’s first season in Commerce City was a learning experience, and not in a good way. The team finished 8th in the nine team Western Conference with a record of 8-8-18 (WTL). His sophomore season in 2015 was little better, ending 9-10-15. As the season concluded, fans and pundits were openly debating whether it was time for the club to go in another direction.
This year, with an infusion of new players like Shkelzen Gashi, Jermaine Jones, Micheal Azira, Eric Miller, and Tim Howard, and with strong return performances from Axel Sjoberg , Sam Cronin, Marlon Hairston and Marc Burch, the Rapids surprised everyone in MLS with a phenomenal 15-13-6 record. The team has forged a clear identity as a defense-first, physical club that will make you run for 90 minutes. And the Rapids are on the cusp of reaching the MLS Cup for only the third time in their 20 year history. That identity and that success are certainly due in no small part to Mastroeni.
Whether Mastroeni receives significant offers to leave the club on account of his success this year is anyone’s guess, although he certainly seems happy here this year in burgundy. We’ll all be in suspense for a few more weeks to wait and see if Mastroeni and his agent can come to terms with Kroenke Sports Enterprises on a fourth year in the Mile High city.