Rapids, GM Counce part ways
DENVER, CO - The Colorado Rapids announced today that Dan Counce, who performed the duties of General Manager for the team during the past eight years, will no longer be part of the organization.
"With his vast soccer knowledge gained both as a player and as an executive, Dan Counce helped establish this franchise and guide it over the past eight years," said Charlie Wright, Governor of the Colorado Rapids. "We want to thank Dan for all his dedication and devotion to the team, but we believe that now is the time to make some adjustments to take this organization to the next level."
"With the end of the first MLS season under the ownership of Kroenke Sports Enterprises also came a restructuring of the front office of the Colorado Rapids," added Wright. "We took a full season to learn as much as possible about the Rapids and have decided to move in a different direction with the management of the team."
Under the new structure, Wright will continue to be in charge of the day-to-day business operation of the team, while the new head coach will be in charge of the day-to-day team duties that will include most of the ones performed by Mr. Counce and Mr. Hankinson during the 2004 season.
Counce, a native of St. Louis and former U.S. National Team player, first came to Colorado in 1997 when he replaced Richard Levine as the team's General Manager. His addition to the Rapids front office proved to be instrumental from the start as he helped shape the team that would go on to win the Western Conference Championship before falling to D.C. United at MLS Cup 1997.
Following the 2002 season, in which he was named MLS Executive of the Year, it was Counce's initiative that pushed for radically changing the look and philosophy of the club prior to the commencement of the 2003 season, introducing the new "Black and Blue" color scheme and mentality to the organization.
The Rapids wish Dan and his family well in their new endeavors and know he will continue to be a positive force in the US Soccer community.