Pablo Mastroeni - Colorado Rapids - resting face, anthem

After his first two seasons in charge of the Colorado Rapids, Pablo Mastroeni didn't have much to hang his hat on: Zero playoff qualifications, a 17-33-18 record and widespread speculation that he was on the hot seat.


That's when the embattled head coach set about transforming his own perspectives, his approach to his job and his team's fortunes.


Seeking inspiration both within himself and from two of the top managers in the world, Mastroeni reinvigorated his career with additional coaching courses, visits to English giants Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur and a careful construction of Colorado's newfound team culture, as ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle details in a fascinating new profile.


“I literally locked myself in a room for about month, and said: 'Okay, this is the way I want to go about things. This is what I want our identity to be. This is the way I'm going to go about doing it,'” Mastroeni told Carlisle.


“I immersed myself into this discovering of my identity as a coach, and how I was going to communicate that with the players, and demand it in a way that this is what I want, but it's also how they want it to look. Basically I said: 'I want a culture that's player led, and player owned, but that is guided by the coaches.'”


It's just one of many insights to be found in Carlisle's piece.