As soon as Pablo Mastroeni was fired, we began wondering what was next. While Steve Cooke was named interim coach, some of us (i.e. me) wondered if they were going to search for a new head coach at all. But after having a couple conversations with people within the Colorado Rapids’ organization, there is definitely a search going on and it sounds fairly extensive.
“It’s been exciting to see the number of qualified applicants who have contacted us about the position,” says Ryan Madden, Director of Communications for the Colorado Rapids. “I believe we’ve received over 100 individual inquiries since the move was made.”
Besides the 100-plus resumes that came flooding in once the news was announced, the Front Office has been conducting a search of their own. While some of the coaches that are being interviewed are still employed by other teams, I was told that Pádraig Smith and company have been looking in South America, Europe, and at top tier college coaches in the United States. (Which makes this sighting on Saturday night even more interesting.)
Competition sounds fierce, and many of the coaches share the offensive-minded vision that the Rapids are moving forward with. Based on my conversations, the application process is intensive - the Rapids want proof that these coaches can walk the walk, not just talk the talk and say the right things.
“In a coaching search, as in most things, quality is more important than quantity, and it’s important to remember that while we’re receiving a ton of interest, we’re also going out and identifying candidates – from around the world – who share our philosophy and vision for the future of the club,” Madden told the Burgundy Wave. “We’ve learned a lot from going out and speaking with coaches who have very clear ideas on how a team should be managed. It’s an impressive group of people and I think it’s fair to say we’ve taken something away from every conversation we’ve had.”
The Rapids hope to narrow down the pool of applicants to a handful of finalists in the coming weeks, and would like to have a new head coach in place by November. This target date of November could be a big reason why Mastroeni was let go during the season. Firing him in August would give them plenty of time to conduct the search and put another coach in place before bringing in new players in the off-season.
In looking at the history of Rapids’ coaches, there have been some letdowns, but hopefully now most everyone in the organization is on the same page and they will be able to find a coach that can execute their vision and get some consistent results.