I heard someone say recently, “getting exactly what you want could be the worst thing for you.”
“We're definitely looking at 2018; there's a lot of great opportunities in 2018,” he says, and that much will depend on whom the Rapids acquire in the summer transfer window. They are targeting someone who can bring a “bit of culture in the attacking third.”
Hmm. “Looking at 2018... great opportunities in 2018.”
You have to start sowing the seeds of 2018 today, so that way you can reap the fruit of all the planning, all the foresight in 2018. So 2018 is critical for us. We're going to continue doing what we do, but everything is done with the mindset of putting ourselves into position to really be able to utilize all the cap space, all the different transactions we're making today, in the future.
“Sowing the seeds of 2018 today.... foresight in 2018.... 2018 is critical for us.”
But wait - what about 2017?
In 2014 and 2015, when the FO communicated with us, the general consensus from Rapids supporters was that the FO was shooting platitudes and clichés in our direction instead of giving us anything concrete. Many put on green, gassed up the plane. Some quit coming to games. Some quit the Rapids altogether.
Even in 2016, when the Rapids achieved some success both on the pitch and in the market (Jermaine Jones and Tim Howard, anyone?), astute Rapids supporters knew that this method the Rapids applied in 2016 would not carry over into 2017. Jones, no matter how much he transformed the demeanor of the players in the locker room and on the pitch, would never stick around (as indicated about 20 seconds after that gut-wrenching loss to Seattle in the Western Conference finals). Howard is Captain America/Secretary of Defense/etc., but he’s also 38. Thankfully we still have Zac MacMath.
Granted, many of us wished more moves were made in what seemed like a 15-minute offseason (we’re not used to making it so far into the playoffs after all). We started 2016 with mostly the same team, minus Jones and minus Howard, starting the season as the Rapids won 1-0 over New England. Since that first win, things have gone downhill considerably, leading many fans to call for some honesty about where things are heading. The FourFourTwo article was just that, and has been met with some mixed feelings.
Pick your poison
Do you want Mastroeni to:
(1) give platitudes and cliches and Zen-like philosophical gems about how well things are going and how hard they played, etc.; or
(2) to in essence say, “hey, supporters! In order for us to play the type of soccer that will keep up with the rest of MLS and make you all happy, some transitions will be made—and, no, it won’t be like a microwave. It’ll be hard. We may have to lose people like Clint Irwin, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Sam Cronin, Marc Burch, Jermaine Jones. But the aim is exactly what we want and exactly what you’ve been calling for.”
I’ve heard and read many Rapids supporters take issue with #1 in 2014 and 2015, and take issue with #2 in 2014-2017. Mastroeni said publicly what many struggling teams likely say privately. You can call it a PR blunder (which it may be—time will tell), or you can call it like it really is: “we owe Rapids supporters some honesty. Let the chips fall where they may.”
Is honesty the best policy? Mastroeni apparently believes so. He said what we all knew.
He gave us exactly what we asked for.