I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the Colorado Rapids during Saturday’s game against DC United, the first game of the post-Pablo Mastroeni era. All of us knew that his days were numbered after the performance by the club and by his press conference comments that are too numerous to mention, and have been covered in various areas already.
Still, I didn’t know what to expect in what we could now call the Cooke era of 2017 (and beyond?). I expected something, but I didn’t expect the performance we saw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, with only one goal was scored (and that being an own goal by Jared Watts).
I had been binging on NFL Films clips on YouTube, and invoked the legendary Verne Lundquist’s words from the 1978 Super Bowl when, after tight end Jackie Harris dropped a wide open pass in the end zone, said, “Oh goodness, he has to be the sickest man in America.” That’s the first thing that came to mind and out of my mouth.
It was a night of few chances that were crushed by another legend in the making, Bill Hamid. You have to give him his due, as Abbie Mood noted, that he stood on his head all night. It was a night in a collection of ‘this wasn’t their night’ games that are adding up significantly.
What did I expect?
I expected some energy, but in watching them I didn’t see much.
I expected us to be more competitive against the worst team in the East, and they seemed to outplay us by every metric.
I expected that, if Mastroeni were truly the problem, they would play with more freedom, but that didn’t happen.
I expected that each of the players would be playing for their jobs, given how Padraig Smith has put the team on notice due to the firing of the Colorado Rapids legend, and giving them a reason to keep them on after the hoped-for housecleaning takes place.
And it’s in the writing of this last sentence that tears me. I love the Rapids and love how the players interact with the fans. They become much like family to us (at least as much as athletes can). Seeing Dillon Powers go was tough, especially when my boys see his Fathead(tm) every time they leave their room. And we go through this when players like Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Clint Irwin, Sam Cronin, Marc Burch, and Pablo Mastroeni leave.
We know that the individual players and coaches cannot trump the organization. It’s always about the Shield. And I have a feeling that in the offseason, unlike last year, a significant housecleaning will take place and we will have to adopt a new crew of Rapids players into the fold.
So here are my questions:
- Which players in the post-Pablo era are untouchable on this Rapids squad?
- Who do you see as a coach that will replace Pablo on a non-interim basis?
- How long will it take for Smith’s offensive-minded philosophy to become part and parcel of the Rapids culture?