DENVER — It took about a quarter of a second for Pablo Mastroeni’s eyes to light up when he was asked who would be the Colorado Rapids’ captain in 2014. And the club's newly named head coach didn’t waste any time in appointing defender Drew Moor to continue to wear the armband.
“Drew Moor is the man,” Mastroeni said on Saturday afternoon, shortly after being named the club’s permanent head coach. “He’s the guy that’s going to lead this team, and he’s got all the support from the guys in the locker room and all the support from the coaches on staff. I think he’s the man to lead this team for this year and years to come.”
Moor first took the reins as Rapids captain early in the 2012 season after, ironically, Mastroeni went down with post-concussion symptoms. Then, after Mastroeni’s trade to the LA Galaxy last June, Moor again assumed the on-field leadership role. Now, with Mastroeni off the field, it’s Moor’s turn to wear the armband on a more permanent basis, and with the full backing of his teammate-turned-coach.
“The special thing about it for me this season is it’s my first official opener to officially be captain,” Moor told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. “There hasn’t been any crazy announcement, Pablo just kind of said that I was going to be captain. The special thing for me is I get to be captain of a team who’s coached by a guy who captained me for a couple years. And I think that’s pretty cool.”
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Moor isn’t necessarily the most boisterous character on the field, often leaving the sharper yelling to coaches and teammates. He prefers to lead by example, an example that has impressed Mastroeni and his teammates enough to put the 30-year-old center back in charge once again in 2014.
“There’s a lot of changes this offseason, which happens sometimes in this league,” Moor said. “It’s all been positive changes. I couldn’t be happier for my friend Pablo, who is obviously my head coach now, but to be able to lead this group of young guys and some of the other veterans to help me along the way, that’s pretty special.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.