PHILADELPHIA – Colorado Rapids legend Pablo Mastroeni has made it clear he's interested in the vacant head coaching position at the club he captained for more than a decade.
"Yeah, it's something that I think I've always been interested in," Mastroeni told MLSsoccer.com at the 2014 SuperDraft on Thursday. "Again, I don't know any of the details or any of the ideas, and we'll substantiate that on Monday. I think I look forward to a good rest of the draft here and take it one day at a time."
Monday is when Mastroeni, who retired after the 2013 MLS season and was hired by the Rapids on Jan. 10 as an assistant to the technical director, is expected to meet with club officials.
"I came as an assistant tech director, and that's my role here," Mastroeni said. "I'll meet with the club on Monday, and we'll see what my position will be moving forward. But for now, I'm excited to be part of the group that's at that table making decisions and working alongside Steve Cooke [assistant coach], John Metgod [consultant] and Paul Bravo [technical director].
"I think we've had a good couple of days at the Combine and we really see talent the same and feel the same way about the vision as far as the club and the direction we're moving in. I'm excited to be part of a good group moving forward."
Rapids president Tim Hinchey recently indicated that the timing of Oscar Pareja's departure, coupled with the technical staff's commitments at the MLS Player Combine and SuperDraft, meant the club hadn't made much progress in the search for a new head coach. But Mastroeni is a name that intrigues even Hinchey.
"If I put my fan hat on, I'd love to see him want that position," Hinchey told ExtraTime Radio last week. "Pablo has given the majority of his life to this club. He's been a phenomenal ambassador and player at extremely high levels. And there are certain precedents where great players from our league have gone straight from the pitch to the touchlines.
"I don't think it's out of the realm. I haven't had a chance to talk to Paul or Pablo about it. But from a fan's perspective, I highly respect Pablo and what he brings to the table."
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If Mastroeni does become head coach, he'll be thrilled to work with the first-round acquisition made by the Rapids in the SuperDraft, Generation adidas central midfielder Marlon Hairston with the 12th overall pick, the first of four picks on the afternoon.
"I think he's a real dynamic midfielder," Mastroeni said. "For our team moving forward, we have depth at that position at the moment. But we're looking forward to the future and to see if he can be a contributor early in the season or midseason or wherever he falls into place.
"He can fill a variety of roles, a two-way midfielder, more of a holding midfielder. And he comes with a great pedigree and a very technical player. So he's got the makings of a good central midfielder, and I think he's one to look forward to in the near future."