In the 2016 season under Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni, the Colorado Rapids were able to end the season with their first winning record since 2013 and made a deep run into the MLS playoffs.
After back-to-back losing seasons Mastroeni’s Rapids looked to be on the right track for years to come.
Less than a year after appearing in the Western Conference finals the Rapids, who are next to last in the conference standings, have not been on track to replicate their 2016 form and have let go of Mastroeni.
Though the 2016 season was a success, 2017 has been abysmal for Colorado and been marked by regression under Mastroeni.
Winning season was an outlier rather than the new norm
With a record of 6-4-12 this season it was clear the Rapids were heading to a third losing season in four years under Mastroeni.
The poor defensive form of the 2014 and 2015 seasons looked to be back, goalscoring is among the lowest in the league, and the team’s away record is on track to be one of its worst ever.
In their last 10 league games under Maestroni the Rapids won only two and were outscored 16 to 10.
Although Maestroni is no longer at the helm of the Rapids, it is not a stretch to conclude that the team would have finished in the bottom places of the Western Conference standings with him in charge.
Under Maestroni the Rapids had become familiar with finishing the season near the bottom of the table.
This season looked to be another underwhelming season in the making under Mastroeni.
Same players different results
The Rapids roster from last year largely remained untouched, but Mastroeni’s leadership has left them heading to a low finish rather than the playoffs.
Through 22 games last season the Rapids were Supporters Shield candidates and in second place in the Western Conference standings with 41 points. This season in 22 games under Mastroeni they only earned 22 points and are next to last in the conference standings.
Despite losing players such as Jermaine Jones and Marco Pappa the Rapids kept key contributors such as Dominique Badji, Kevin Doyle, and Shkelzen Gashi.
Gashi has missed a portion of the season due to injury, but Badji and Doyle have stepped up with a combined 11 goals and 9 assists.
Though certain individuals have performed, Mastroeni failed to get the same results from mostly the same group of players.
As a whole Mastroeni’s tenure had more low points than high points, and his dismissal is a statement by the front office that they are seeking consistent success rather than to tolerate poor results because of one good season.
Going forward without Mastroeni
Almost immediately after sacking Mastroeni the Rapids named Steve Cooke interim head coach.
Written by Frank Lara-Risco
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLaraRisco
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