The 2015 Colorado Rapids were depressing. They finished last in the Western Conference, last in goals scored and last in attendance. They continued to replace young talent with veteran mediocrity. Even technical director Paul Bravo, amidst all the spin, acknowledged that the team was a mess once the ball crossed midfield.
Instead of firing head coach Pablo Mastroeni, who has won an abysmal 19 of 71 games during his time in charge, Colorado decided they’d stick with their embattled coach and add a new assistant to focus on reviving the offense. On Thursday, the Rapids announced John Spencer, a man who has been out of coaching since being fired as head coach of the Portland Timbers midway through the 2012 season, would be added to Mastroeni’s staff.
Spencer, in what will be a role akin to offensive coordinator, isn’t exactly a slam-dunk hire. His attack in Portland was straightforward, extremely direct, and not especially effective, not unlike the type of attack Colorado is, apparently, trying to shed.
Still, compared with the rest of this Rapids offseason, the Spencer hire looks like a stroke of genius.
To recap: Big pickup Marco Pappa, previously with the Seattle Sounders, was allegedly stabbed at his apartment by Miss Washington; potential Designated Player signing Alan Pulido may be facing a two- to six-month ban; and the team traded up to the number one spot in the MLS allocation order during the Superdraft only to find FC Nantes unwilling to part with Alejandro Bedoya.
Colorado has also struck out in their pursuit of Carlos Vela, lost captain Drew Moor in free agency and shipped fan favorite goalkeeper Clint Irwin off to join Moor at Toronto FC.
If the Rapids did, in fact, clear out Irwin to make room for Tim Howard, the situation in Colorado is even more dire than we thought. Howard, at 36 years old and in the worst form of his career, would be an absolutely farcical signing. Goalkeeper was the one place this team didn’t need help.
And remember, this was the offseason in which the Rapids were going to turn things around by spending and thinking big. Instead, this offseason has been a rambling sideshow. With the Western Conference continuing to get better, Colorado remains rooted to the foot of the division.
This organization has no clue. They’ve recommitted to Mastroeni for reasons beyond understanding yet continue to undercut him by with the likes of Director of Soccer Claudio Lopez and now Spencer. It’s been Chivas USA-esque.