Colorado Rapids

Roster Cut Day And Hudson "News"

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Big day today as the Rapids announced their option pickups and roster cuts going into the offseason. Lets break them down:

  • Sam Hamilton's option picked up - Easy decision, first round draft pick, cheap, still has time to develop
  • Eric Miller's option picked up - Meh. He is versatile, being able to play anywhere on the back line, but he's not particularly good at any of those positions.

Hudson Watch 2017

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The newest twist in the Hudson/Rapids saga hit tonight as Hudson officially stepped down as the New Zealand coach. There's no news as to his next move but all signs continue to point to Colorado as his next stop. I've also heard secondhand that the new manager, whomever he is, was involved in the decision to sign Blomberg.

Clock's ticking

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Barring a miracle in the next 25 minutes Peru is going to eliminate New Zealand and Anthony Hudson will be able to take the Rapids job. Given that we've heard no other rumors for a couple of weeks all signs point to Hudson being the man. Now the clock starts ticking, The Rapids needs to get the deal done, announce him this week, have a press availability early next week, and have him get right into it as soon as the holiday is over.

November 1st, No Manager Yet

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For the last 6 weeks or so the Rapids have talked about their goal of having a manager in place by November 1st. Well the 1st has come and gone and no manager and only one real rumor (we'll get to that in a moment).

Now I don't think missing this date is a big deal yet. There's really not a ton a manager could do for the next couple of weeks.

Rumor Roundup

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A bit of news and rumor from the first week of the offseason. The primary source is from Padraig Smith's interview on the Vic Lombardi radio show on Wednesday morning.

Most notable, to me, was Smith's talk about how Gashi's play was disappointing this year and how it stemmed from him not following the offseason plan laid out for him after the 2016 season.

Coaching Update

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We got our first coaching news today from a variety of sources. I think this article covers it all. 4 people have been talked to about the job but likely they aren't the short list of candidates. This is a good thing because 3 of the 4 names make me sign and think "same old Rapids" and the fourth, while interesting, doesn't seem like a home run hire.

Pablo Removed

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Interim head coach Steve Cooke
Well I can't say I saw this coming. About 7 hours ago the Rapids announced Pablo Mastroeni has been removed as head coach. Assistant coach Steve Cooke will be the interim head coach with Chris Sharpe and Conor Casey staying in their current assistant coach roles.

Front Office Changes

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A couple of leadership rumors out of Commerce City today:

First, confirmation of how the Rapids are filling the void left by Bravo's departure:
With Paul Bravo out, Padraig Smith is now running point for Rapids' tech staff ahead of draft, Mastroeni and club spokesman confirm.

The First Big Offseason Decision - Pablo

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As of now Pablo Mastroeni is essentially out of contract as Rapids Head Coach (I'm sure his contract probably runs to the end of the month or something but the games are over). The first decision the Rapids Front Office has to make this offseason is obvious' Will Pablo return?

To review his head coaching tenure so far:

2014: 8W-8T-18L - 0.

Welcome Back Spencer!

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Today the Rapids announced that the long discussed "offensive coordinator" will be Rapids legend and Gallery of Honor member John Spencer. Spencer has been advising the team at least since the combine earlier this month and will be the primary assistant to Pablo going forward, presumably taking over Lopez's role.

I. Told. You. So.

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The Denver Post had an article today about Pablo's tenuous position. Included was a paraphrase from Tim Hinchey that made my eyes roll back so far I could see inside my head.
Hinchey reiterated that Mastroeni was thrown into a tough situation last year, being officially named coach a week before the first match.

Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni

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Image by Cindy Schutz
About 12:30 today the Rapids made it official. At the Centennial 38 season kickoff party they asked Pablo Mastroeni to sign his contract (above) as the next head coach of the Colorado Rapids. Our long Colorado nightmare is over, the Rapids have a head coach.
Clearly the best decision the team could have made at this point.

Not To Sound "Ridiculous" But...

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We are now inside of 14 days until the opening kickoff of the season and we still have no head coach. This can't be considered normal or a logical strategy. I know the FO is focused on finding the right fit who will stay in Colorado a long time, but how much of the current team are they willing to sacrifice for that future?

Metgod Still In Colorado

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I got an answer back from the Rapids on my inquiry on John Metgod (which, for those readers asking why I didn't ask the Rapids about it, was sent before last night's post):
Hasn't left the team, just keeping his presence on our website low profile for a few reasons.
Which is interesting, as I'm not sure how that works.

Metgod Out?

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Maybe its just a glitch, but it appears every mention of John Metgod has been removed from This includes taking his name off the list of Technical Staff, removing the press release announcing his addition to the staff (seen here at and the video that they posted of him reviewing the team's SuperDraft results.

Exactly 4 Weeks Until The Opener...Who's The Coach?

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This is being posted exactly 4 weeks before the opening kick of the Rapids season at 2pm on March 15th. As of this moment the Rapids still officially have no head coach. Not only that, the only rumors we've heard about when it comes to specific candidates is the on-going talk around Pablo Mastroeni. This was most evident in the quote from Jose Mari earlier this week:
I know that the coach, Pablo, is an institution at the club, that he's been here for many years and is a very important man for the Colorado Rapids organization.

Pablo Not Quite Head Coach and Player Updates

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The Rapids announced on Saturday that Pablo "will be at the head of our group of coaches" as preseason opens, but they went out of their way to avoid calling him Head Coach, using terms like "leading" and "in charge". I still believe its just a matter of time before he''s given the title. Maybe after this weekend's scrimmage against Houston so he can have at least one game under his belt.

Pablo To Be Next Coach?

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The Rapids posted this image of Pablo at the draft today
All signs seem to be pointing to Pablo Mastroeni as the lead candidate to be the next Rapids coach. He will meet Monday with the club about the position after expressing his interest in it today. The club has been putting on a PR press for him recently, with a series of videos about his path back to the Rapids on the website.

Mullan Re-Signed and Preseason Schedule Announced

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Two announcements from the Rapids today. First, as expected, Brian Mullan was re-signed. No word on length of contract or if this is the rumored player/coach contract but regardless its good to have a veteran of his experience back in the locker room. A good move form the Rapids before the Superdraft.

Coaching Search Hints

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Lots of tweets and inside information today on how this coaching search is going to go. First from ESPN's Jeff Carlisle on Twitter:
#Rapids Prez Tim Hinchey w/re: to hiring new mgr: "We're going to take our time. We're going to be very considerate and deliberate." #mls
More Hinchey: "We want to find the next coach that's going to be here for a decade.

Jamie Smith Retires, Both He and Pablo Join Staff

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Some good news on the staffing front today. Jamie Smith announced his retirement from playing and immediately joined the Rapids Academy as a coach. He'll be working with the next group of Dillon Sernas and Shane O'Neills. Also today Pablo Mastroeni was hired as Special Assistant to the Technical Director (that being Paul Bravo).

Pareja Officially Out

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The Rapids and Dallas just made it official 20 minutes ago. Dallas buys out Pareja's contract and send allocation money and their natural 2015 first-round Superdraft pick to Colorado and hired Oscar Pareja as their coach. The Rapids are now looking for a coach, and reports are they're going to take a while.

Busy News And Rumors Day

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Lots of news, lots of rumors. We'll start with what has been reported.

  • Wilmer Cabrera is hired as the new Chivas USA coach
No real surprise after the rumors of the last two days. It does knock one name off the likely coaching list for the Rapids.
  • Red Bull NY has not been asked about Fraser
A bit of a surprise since Fraser seemed to be the early leader for the Rapids job in rumors.

Pareja Leaving, Harris Traded, Cabrera Out?

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First the coaching drama. Newest updates from Chris Bianchi on Twitter:
Pareja is still officially #Rapids coach. But he's not coming back. Zero chance. Zilch. Nada.
Not for sure, but I'd expect something by Friday. RT @jpatrickrosch: @Rapids_News any word on when this might officially be resolved?

Pareja Resigning(?): Day 3

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Monday hit and brought nothing. The only bit of news on the Pareja front was Chris Bianchi tweeting he was attending a Denver-area player combine presumably for the Rapids. So apparently Ives report on Monday was a bit off as Oscar appears to still be the coach of the Rapids as of this morning.

My guess is that on Friday the decision was finalized that Pareja would go to Dallas but he did not resign.

Radio Silence

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Apparently the Rapids are using submarine tactics to deal with the on-going Pareja rumors this weekend. Not a peep out of the Front Office on the report of Pareja stepping down despite repeated requests from every quarter stretching from down to yours truly. Tim Hinchey and Richard Fleming have been tweeting this weekend, but nothing about the Rapids.

Pareja Steps Down

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Per, Pareja stepped down as Rapids coach yesterday. No official word from the Rapids yet. This is, obviously, now a worst case scenario with the Caribbean combine going on, the college combine starting late next week, and the Superdraft less than 2 weeks away. I'm sure as the days go buy we'll get the "real" story as to what happens, but we still have a bunch of conflicting reports.

Pareja Watch Day 2

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Well, day 2 of me reporting on it at least.

A couple of fans with well placed sources int he Rapids FO have done some digging and separately both gotten similar stories (though they may be talking to the same people). The highlights:

  • Pareja was given a contract extension and raise through 2015 around the end of the season (this has been confirmed by other reports outside of fans as well)
  • He is now the highest paid coach in Rapids history
  • He's getting paid more in Colorado than Hyndman ever did in Dallas
  • The Rapids have not given anyone permission to talk to Pareja
  • There has been no conversation between the Rapids and Pareja about him being unhappy, or the Rapids being unhappy about any of his demands
  • Dallas has gone to the press to drive a wedge between Pareja and the Rapids
  • The Rapids are seriously considering filing tampering charges with the league over what Dallas is trying to do
If these sources are accurate it appears that Dallas has gotten desperate and are trying to force bad blood between OP and the Rapids FO, hoping it leads to the Rapids releasing OP or OP going to the FO and telling them he wants to go Dallas.

Coaching Change Imminent?

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First a bit fo housekeeping. The Rapids season opener on March 9th in San Jose has been moved to May 15th to help San Jose deal with their CONCACAF Champions League schedule. Personally I think the Rapids get screwed on both sides of this, losing their opener and accepting the make-up date in the middle of the week between two other games, but its the price you pay in a single-entity league.

Chinese teams

Chinese football ‘sack race’ claims six coaches in a month

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Beijing (AFP) – High expectations in the big-spending Chinese Super League have triggered a spate of departures, with six coaches shown the door in the space of just one month.

More than a third of teams in the 16-strong Super League have been affected, in a season which has also been rocked by claims of racism and violence.

Chinese football ‘sack race’ claims six coaches in a month

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Beijing (AFP) – High expectations in the big-spending Chinese Super League have triggered a spate of departures, with six coaches shown the door in the space of just one month.

More than a third of teams in the 16-strong Super League have been affected, in a season which has also been rocked by claims of racism and violence.


Why Can't I Coach in the EPL?

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After the latest string of firings, Halloway included, I felt I needed to enlighten some of you as to what it takes to coach in the EPL. In the US, most in the coaching ranks are familiar with the USSF standard ratings, E, D (state and national), C, B, and A licenses. Typically, you won't see a D1 school being coached by someone with anything less than an A license.

They See Me Rollin

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Well, not so much, but they are definitely hatin. Bruce Arena, wherefore art thou, Bruce Arena? "Players on the national team should be - and this is my own feeling - they should be Americans," Arena told ESPN's The Magazine. "If they're all born in other countries, I don't think we can say we are making progress.


New managers all around!

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With Guardiola's signing of Bayern Munich and Alex Ferguson's goodbye at Manchester United there have already been huge managing news in European football. But lately there have been even more interesting news on this front, most notably the exit of Jose Mourinho from Real Madrid. Notwithstanding that Mourinho is a brilliant manager, what he most takes away from Madrid is that the club was indeed

"Interim" Chelsea

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Chelsea has been up and down over the last few years. In 2011 Carlo Ancelotti was fired as the club "only" made it to second place in the Premier League (the previous year he had led them to their first "Double"). For the start of the 2011-12 season Andre Villas-Boas became manager, and under him team performance dipped with a string of defeats.

Capital Soccer Show w/Ben Olsen

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Here's another episode of the other podcast I host, The Capital Soccer Show. The show kicks off with a revealing conversation with D.C. United coach, Ben Olsen following a breakdown of the wild DCU/Philadelphia Union match from the weekend.


The Rest

A Timely Salute To 5 Football Managers Who Got Themselves Sacked In Style

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With the curious, if slightly tame, tale of Sam Allardyce dominating the back pages at the moment, Pies thought we'd herald five managerial employees who had the good grace to get themselves sacked with a bit of panache.

By which, of course, we mean illicit drug use, going AWOL, fighting, more fighting and a spectacular feat of petty theft.

FIFA Fights for Female Footballing Coaches

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In a recent decision, FIFA has approved for quotas for female coaches at the U-17 Women's World Cup that will take place inJordan in 2016. The quotas require that all competing teams include at least one female coach and one female medic among their staff. These decisions are in response to a growing trend of diminishing numbers of females on coaching staffs.

THE STARTING 11: TFC coach employment perks

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Let's face it - if Toronto FC coaches were wild animals, they'd occupy the endangered species list somewhere between pandas and unicorns. Since the club's inception, a wide array of motley crews (not Motley Crue cuz that would be awesome) have patrolled the sidelines under a number of different managers.

Shell Game

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In the past week, DiMatteo was let go and replaced by Rafa Benitez as Chelsea's head coach, but now... In the past 12 hrs, QPR has announced Hughes is out, and rumor has it Arry "Ain't no F'n Wheeler Dealer" Redknapp has agreed terms to take over. But that's not all. Brazil, just a few minutes ago, has announced that the Menezes experiment for Brazil is done.