Pablo out as Rapids manager…

BREAKING!
The Rapids announced earlier today that Pablo Mastroeni and the club have parted ways. Story here. Rapids assistant coach Steve Cooke has been named interim.

I know I speak for many when I say this. That renewing season memberships for 2018 seems much more likely now.

I’m certain there are a lot of happy linemen and 4th officials in PRO now too.

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The Full 90: Rapids 1 @ Toronto F.C. 1 game recap…

Oh Canada!

I’ll make this brief.

The GOOD – First road point of the season. Badji’s equalizer in the 76th minute. The Rapids played a better second half than first half, not counting the last 5 minutes of the match. The Academy didn’t hand out any Oscars for that bit of acting in those final 5 mins. Kortne Ford didnt receive a red card on his challenge on Giovinco, though he should have.

The BAD – Another slow start to a game. 1st half 40% possession, 0 corners, outshot 7-2, committing 7 fouls along the way.

The UGLY -The final 5+ plus mins of the match. If the team was really cramping up or stalling we’ll never truly know, but it wasn’t the best show of the team as a whole. Maybe even a bit disrespectful to the game. Every team at some point does it, but what we witnessed those last 5 mins, that was ridiculous. If that is the “heart” that Pablo referred to this team having earlier in the season, then this team is in dire need of a heart transplant, starting with Pablo removed from the position of manager.

Burgundy Headlines for May 26th…

Here are a few headlines from the past few days as we head into the Memorial Day weekend and our match with Sporting KC on Saturday.

Pablo talks Four Four Two article and more…

Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni talk to Altitude Sports 950 earlier today about the upcoming match against Vancouver, the return of Tim Howard, the 2017 season and that Four Four Two article from a week ago.

The 11 and a half minute interview is interesting if nothing else. As usual Pablo doesn’t give definitive answers about anything. That’s not to say he is hiding anything necessarily, but that he just doesn’t give you a solid answer to anything to make you want to believe him and anything he says. (See Sean Spicer)

As a supporter and season ticket member I personally still have little to no faith in him as a coach of this club. I will certainly give him credit for 2016, and I will for this season if we can somehow turn this thing around. That all begins this weekend, something I know we’ve said each week since the draw to Minnesota United FC back on March 18th at home.

Burgundy Headlines Mar 11th…

Good video piece on the MLS website on Marlon Hairston.

Interesting interview with Pablo by Simon Borg for mlssoccer.com on the man v wolf debate. Pablo always the philosophical one, provides an interesting perspective.

Will we see Howard and/or Gashi today against RBNY? The Secretary of Defense will at the least be on the field as the former Metrostars keeper will be honored pregame by RBNY. The Rapids handled the high pressing of the Revs last week, can they do it again this week against the Red Bulls on the road at Red Bull Arena?

 

Burgundy Headlines for Dec 14th…

So far this morning there is at least one report that the Rapids have signed Pablo Mastroeni to a new contract, see below.

As well as Jermaine Jones giving thanks to his teammates and coaching staff.

Initial thoughts on Pablo. The GOOD – Pablo deserved the new 3 year contract as much as I hate to say it. Huge credit to the Rapids front office for getting something done sooner than last minute as they have been known to do in the past. Look back to 2014 when they named Pablo the teams new manager a week before the start of the season without any coaching experience. Familiarity, the RFO having exercised options on a majority of the teams key players for the 2017 season a couple of days ago and the success of the 2016 season means that those players already know what Pablo is looking for from this team going in and the success that they’ve had. Add in a player or two here and there via draft, trades, etc and there shouldn’t be much difference in this years team and the upcoming team for 2017.

The BAD – With Pablo returning for another 3 seasons, one would assume that his coaching staff will remain as is. And maybe, just maybe they should. The bad in this is there needs to be more done on the offensive side of the pitch. Better creativity, better passing, improved footwork and attacking. This team needs more from assistant coach John Spencer, who was brought in last season to help improve the offensive side of the ball.

The UGLY – We’ll have to wait and see.

 

The Final 3rd – If the reports are true then congrats to Pablo and the RFO for getting this done and out of the way before the upcoming list of drafts happen(waiver, re-entry and Super Draft) and again not waiting until the last minute. There has yet to be any official announcement from the Rapids via twitter or their website, despite the report having been confirmed by a few sources. An announcement may come later today.

Burgundy Headlines for 10/30…

It’s matchday Rapids fans! Leg 1 of the playoffs against the Galaxy at StubHub Center. #KeepFighting

The media is showing Pablo some love with a couple of features from Ives Galarcep for Goal.com and Jeff Carlisle for ESPN FC.

Daniel Boniface of the Denver Post looks at how the best defenses have done in the MLS playoffs.

And a story from Los Angeles previewing the Rapids/Galaxy matchup.

The Full 90: Rapids 1 @ FC Dallas 0 recap…

After re-watching Saturday’s game here is finally a recap and a few of my frustrations.

The GOOD – A very important 3 points and an equally important road win! Another clean sheet for Howard. Game winning goal scored by Badji in the 52nd minute. Giving FC Dallas their first home loss of the season.
The BAD – Defense overall as well as the back line are still shaky. Not sure why Eric Miller continues to get the start. Williams needs to be back in the starting 11. Or give Castillo a shot? Rapids were outshot 17 to 7, and 7 to 1 on target. Doyle’s injury after only 6 mins on the field in the 2nd half, let’s hope he’s good to go this weekend against San Jose.
The UGLY – Only capturing 3 out of 9 possible points in this 3 game road trip.

The SUM OF IT ALL – The Rapids have plugged up a hole in the ship for this week, despite still taking on water. Didn’t the Rapids hire Spenny as an offensive coordinator of sorts for Pablo? Clearly this hire hasnt paid off in the way the RFO might have envisioned.

Counter attacks are not attacking football. This team needs to force the pace of the game from the first whistle and not always sit and wait to counter. Playing the ball over the top also is not attacking football. It’s like throwing a penny into a wishing well and hoping good comes from it. I feel like I’m watching a bad game of beach volleyball week in and week out lately.

This team needs to not worry about the Supporters Shield, stop playing for an unbeaten streak unless it’s for 3 points only each time out. I’m not saying take all of the focus away from the Shield. But this team needs to play a better and a more consistent brand of soccer if it has any plan of making any noise in the playoffs. Playing for draws wont do this team a lot of good down the stretch, even with 2 games still in hand. The Rapids need to start playing for wins and this has to happen now. Despite the win in Dallas, the Rapids were lucky to get that win. FC Dallas knows well that to slow the Rapids down is to hog possession of the ball and that’s what they did, owning 64% possession. And FC Dallas arent the only team to have figured this out.

The speed of Badji and Hairston on the wings is useless if the Rapids cant possess the ball. Just go back and look at Badji’s goal in the 52nd minute, quick attacking possession brought on that goal. (Yes you might want to give Pablo an assist). Your #9 hold up player, cant do his job if the Rapids arent again possessing the ball.

Sloppy passing and too many turnovers not just in the midfield are only one of the Achilles hurting this team right now, which in turn forces more pressure on the defense. Blame all of this on Pablo as he was a defender in his playing days, it’s all he knows. As for running any type of offense, Pablo hasnt a clue.

Clearly this team misses Gashi, Jones and Pappa. Let’s hope we can get all of them back against San Jose.

 

Rapids in pictures July 2nd…

The Colorado Rapids held an open training session for season ticket members today, giving supporters an up-close first look at the Rapids newest addition in US International icon and keeper Tim Howard.

The squad was broken up into two groups, one group being the players who most recently played this past Wednesday in the US Open Cup match against FC Dallas and the remainder of the team, most of whom will probably be in the starting 11 on Monday against Portland on July 4th.

Though he did not take part in training, it was great to see Dillion Serna at training and not on crutches. Serna suffered an injury Wednesday night against FC Dallas and is due to have season ending knew surgery soon. Also great to see Sean St. Ledger and Bobby Burling, who have both been out of action due to injury. Shkelzen Gashi’s back from Albanian National team duties in the Euro 2016 tournament. The only noticeable absentee was Jermaine Jones.

4 questions heading into the Rapids season opener…

There are four questions in relation to the Rapids that come to mind as we head into the MLS season just days away.

Question #1Can the Rapids be the Leicester City of MLS this season? Meaning, can Pablo & Co be THE talk of the league, the top dog in the Supporter’s Shield race or even win the MLS Cup? Short answer, NO. Sure it’s possible and it would be great for the supporters and the league if the Rapids could pull off such a feat, but as long as Mastroeni is in charge, I dont see it happening. His substitution patterns are more times than not questionable at best. And he hasn’t grasped the idea of attacking football and how to implement it. The Rapids have hopes of a great season as the other 19 teams in MLS, but they will not be good enough to take the league by storm, though stranger things have happened.

Question #2 – Speaking of Mastroeni, he is no doubtedly on the hot seat coming this season. Does Pablo get the axe or does he make it through the whole season? How will he(Pablo) fare as 2016 rolls along? Will he be like Brendan Rogers (fired early season), Jose Mourinho (mid-season) or more like Louis Van Gaal, hanging on week in and week out throughout this season?

I strongly believe that if the Rapids get off to a bad start in March, April and maybe some into May that he is gone, adios, arrivederci, giving assistant coach John Spencer time to shape the team the way he wants especially before the pending arrival of Tim Howard in July. Though there is still nothing officially announced on this possible move.

Question #3Who will the Rapids miss the most this season Clint Irwin, Vicente Sanchez, Gaby Torres or Drew Moor? Quick answer without a doubt, Irwin, A LOT! Nothing against McMath, but you still have to prove to us that you’re capable in net. It’s gonna be difficult with a legendary Tim Howard looking over your shoulder even from as far away as Everton.

Next would be Sanchez. Many times last season he was the only spark offensively the Rapids had, the one player who could create and play 1v1 against opposing defenders, making him a fan favorite.

Question #4 – Can this season’s tandem of Doyle & Gashi be as good as the scoring duo of Conor Casey & Omar Cummings?¬†Rapids fans can only hope so! We have yet to see much of Doyle and Gashi together on the pitch, but something tells me that if the midfield can move the ball forward and not create turnovers, this could be a special pair for the Rapids.

Those are just a few questions that came to mind for me as we head into the 2016 season starting in just 4 short days! Your thoughts? And what other questions do you have for this season?