COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – He's only won 17 of 68 league matches at the helm thus far, but the Colorado Rapids are keeping faith with head coach Pablo Mastroeni.
Rapids technical director and vice president of soccer operations Paul Bravo and club president Tim Hinchey both gave their team’s second-year manager a nod of confidence on Thursday, dispelling any rumors that the team would look to outside replacements, including recently-fired New York City FC manager Jason Kreis.
“I think it’s disrespectful to call [Kreis] ‘an obvious upgrade over Pablo,’” Hinchey said. “I have a head coach, so I’m not interested in commenting on other people that are available.”
Though the Rapids scored a league-worst 33 goals and finished well out of the playoff picture, the Colorado brain trust believes that an emphasis on stability and growth will serve the club well in the long run.
“We’re aligned in this,” said Bravo. “I think the consistency piece is a good component. When you strip down the components and look at the positives and the negatives, the negatives certainly outweigh the positives, but we’ve made progress. Maybe not the sort of progress in certain areas that we’d like, but there has been progress.”
Bravo pointed to the Rapids' poor home form and deficiencies in the attacking third as another focal point for improvement heading into 2016. The front office hopes to address this further in the offseason by seeking a new first-team assistant for Mastroeni.
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“We never really hired a really experienced, top assistant after Wilmer [Cabrera] and the whole group left. That’s something we’re interested in doing,” Hinchey explained. “An experienced coach that can help the entire club and specifically help Pablo is a good thing.”
Bravo suggested that continued tweaking of the roster can also provide solutions to Colorado’s attacking woes.
“I think we need a little bit more pace in wide areas, whether that’s fullbacks or attacking players in our base 4-2-3-1 system,” Bravo said of the team’s roster needs. “We do have individual characteristics that we’re hunting for. Maybe a couple players with a bit more insight in that final-third phase to add to the group and accentuate what we currently have.”