It seems Pablo Mastroeni’s work as a member of the Colorado Rapids is not exactly over just yet. In fact, it’s just getting started. Mastroeni was named to the Rapids technical staff and will be a special assistant to technical director Paul Bravo. Also, midfielder Jamie Smith has retired and will be part of the Rapids Academy Under-18 coaching staff.
“In addition to a playing career that few can rival, Pablo is also an intelligent, passionate leader who has the respect of everyone in our organization,” Rapids president Tim Hinchey said in a statement. “His experience as a player, knowledge and understanding of the Rapids and our goals, and dedication to the growth of this club will serve us well moving forward.”
Mastroeni was named to the MLS All-Star team in his first seven years with the club (2002-2008), and earning Rapids MVP honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He currently holds club records for most games played (225), games started (217) and minutes played (18,669), and served as the Rapids’ captain from late 2004 until his trade to the Los Angeles Galaxy last season.
“I’m excited at the opportunity to return to the Rapids and get started in my coaching career,” Mastroeni said. “This is a great chance for me here at the club and in the state that I call home. I’m looking forward to finding some talented young players at the Combine and SuperDraft, and then seeing them on the training field back in Colorado in a couple weeks.”
Smith, a native of Alexandria, Scotland, signed with the Rapids in mid-2009 before leading the club with eight assists in 22 matches in 2010, helping the Rapids win the MLS Cup that year.
“While stepping away from the game as a player is difficult, I’m excited for this new challenge and the opportunity to remain with the Rapids and [Kroenke Sports Entertainment],” Smith said this week. “Winning MLS Cup in 2010 was a highlight of my career, and now I hope I can help develop the next generation of players to win another cup.”
Finally, John Metgod, an experienced player and coach, will be a consultant to Bravo and will be another integral part of the technical staff.
“There are few people who have as much soccer experience as John, whether as a player, coach, or in spotting and developing talent,” said Hinchey. “He has played and coached for some of the best clubs in the world, as well as his national team, and will be an invaluable resource for our club.”
“We’re grateful to be able to draw on John’s experience and knowledge as he joins our technical staff,” Bravo said this week. “He has an eye for talent that will assist our efforts at the Combine and SuperDraft, and can offer his perspective on our first team and Academy setup and structure. We’re eager to get started working with him.”
Metgod (pronunciation: MET-hod) will join the Rapids staff at the MLS Combine in Florida on Friday and for the MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia on Jan. 16.