MLS Stalwart and Former Colorado Rapids Head Coach Joins Freddy Juarez’s staff as First Assistant

HERIMMAN, UTAH (Tuesday, January 5, 2021) – Real Salt Lake Head Coach Freddy Juarez announced that he has hired former Colorado Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni as an assistant coach for the upcoming 2021 Major League Soccer Season.  To complete his signing, RSL sent $50,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) to Houston Dynamo FC, where Mastroeni served as an assistant coach in 2020.

“Pablo is a great fit for us for three main reasons – his experience as a coach, his experience as a player and his reputation as a great person,” Juarez said.  “He has the experience of being a head coach in this league.  He understands the demands of this league as a coach and as a player.  As a player, he brings a high pedigree as an international player that played in a World Cup.  We are a young and developing team and we need people that have been there and seen it.  On top of that, he’s a great person and for me that was important.”

Mastroeni, 44, joins RSL’s staff after one season as an assistant coach with Houston Dynamo FC on the staff of Tab Ramos.  The five-time MLS All-Star played 16 seasons in Major League Soccer with the Miami Fusion, Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy and served as Head Coach of the Rapids from 2014-2017.  During his playing career, the two-time World Cup participant spent 11 seasons with Colorado and captained the Rapids to the 2010 MLS Cup title. He ranks 25th in the all-time MLS record books with 334 career regular season appearances. 

“What really resonated with me was the culture that Freddy is building, how he goes about his work and how I’d be utilized,” Mastroeni said.  “One of the things that I think is really important is culture.  If the environment is great, you increase your odds of having a great campaign and I look forward to contributing to that with the staff at Real Salt Lake.”

Drafted 13th overall in the 1998 MLS SuperDraft, Mastroeni joined the Miami Fusion where he spent the next four seasons and became a regular in the team’s starting XI. In his last season in South Florida he was named to the MLS Best XI and helped earn the 2001 MLS Supporters’ Shield.  Following Miami’s contraction from the league, he was selected first in the MLS Allocation Draft by Colorado.  The Argentine-American set club records for games started (217), games played (225) and minutes played (18,669), all of which are still held today.  After 11 seasons with the Rapids, Mastroeni was moved in a midseason trade with the LA Galaxy in 2013 and retired at the end of the season.

After retiring, Mastroeni took the reins as Head Coach of the Colorado Rapids in 2014.  In 136 games at the helm, he held a 43-58-35 record and coached his squad to the club’s all-time best regular-season finish, earning a franchise-record 58 points in 2016, finishing second in the Western Conference at 15-6-13 and advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

In addition to Mastroeni’s extensive background in MLS, the new assistant coach brings a wealth of international experience, earning 65 caps with the United States National Team from 2001-2008. As part of the National Team he helped win the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2002, 2005 and 2007 and was named to the FIFA World Cup roster in 2002 and 2006, helping the U.S. advance to the quarterfinals in 2002.

An Arizona native, Mastroeni played collegiately at North Carolina State University.  He holds a U.S. Soccer Federation PRO License, graduating from the program in 2016.