The Colorado Rapids’ off-season was a bit similar to Real Salt Lake’s. While the young club grew up a year and kept most of its key pieces together, the coach (Oscar Pareja) bolted for a new location.
That’s where the similarities end, though. Last year Salt Lake nearly won MLS Cup, while Colorado crashed out early. Salt Lake has a veteran core ready to compete for titles now. Colorado… not so much.
For Colorado, the goal is minimal drop-off now that Pareja is gone. Making the playoffs would be a feat for this team, but just seeing improvement in the young players would probably be a success.
- Marc Burch via Re-Entry Stage 1
- Marvin Chavez via trade from San Jose
- Hendry Thomas traded to FC Dallas
- Atiba Harris traded to San Jose
- Jamie Smith retired
This is still a very young team, and it is missing a holding midfielder. More importantly, this side just lost a top tier coach for an interim one.
I’m predicting serious regression for the Rapids this season. They won’t make the playoffs, nor will they have a legitimate chance to make them by October. I suspect this side will have a losing streak of at least five matches during the season. Pablo Mastroeni won’t prove to be the quality coach that Pareja was and the soccer world will acknowledge as much by season’s end.