Colorado Rapids part ways with Pablo Mastroeni, Cooke named interim boss

Pablo Mastroeni - Colorado Rapids - Close up

The Colorado Rapids have endured a rough season, and head coach Pablo Mastroeni has suffered the consequences as a result.

The Rapids announced on Tuesday that they have parted ways with Mastroeni, and that assistant coach Steve Cooke will take over on an interim basis. The Rapids are currently in 10th place in the Western Conference and 10 points off a playoff spot with a 6-12-4 record. Current assistant coach Conor Casey and goalkeeper coach Chris Sharpe will remain in their current roles.

“We would like to thank Pablo for his contributions to this organization, both as a player and as head coach,” said Rapids sporting director and interim general manager, Padraig Smith in a release. “He has been dedicated to the growth of this club for over 15 years and played an instrumental role in many of our successes.

“Unfortunately, we have fallen short of our expectations, and this decision was taken in the best interest of the players and the organization as a whole.”

Mastroeni compiled an overall record of 38-51-35 during his time as Colorado's head coach. The club finished in one of the bottom two spots in the West during three of his four seasons in charge. The lone exception was last year, when the Rapids ended up in second place with a 15-6-13 record and made it to the Western Conference Championship.

A former player at the club, Mastroeni took over as manager on an interim basis in 2014 before being given the job outright. 

Prior to arriving in Colorado in 2010, Cooke served as a development academy coach at Sheffield Wednesday, then of the English Premier League, from 1990-96. Additionally, he spent 10 years as Assistant Director of Coaching for Sereno Soccer Club and SC del Sol in Phoenix.

Cooke joined the Rapids Development Academy in 2010. Along with Development Academy responsibilities, Cooke was appointed to Oscar Pareja’s staff in 2012 to work with the first team. In 2014, Cooke was then appointed as first team assistant coach to Mastroeni and had been in that role since.