Two days after the Colorado Rapids fell to 1-5-1 in their first seven games of the 2017 season, a group of club supporters expressed “concern and disappointment” with the team’s direction.
Centennial 38, a group of Rapids supporters that formed in 2013, released a statement on its Facebook page Monday that questioned the lack of player acquisition this summer, the March trade that sent veterans Sam Cronin and Marc Burch to Minnesota and comments manager Pablo Mastroeni made in an issue of FourFourTwo magazine late last month.
The Rapids finished with the second-most points in the MLS and came within one game of making the MLS Cup in 2016. Colorado, which gave up 32 goals in 34 games, did so with its defense.
The Rapids made moves to play a more attacking, uptempo strategy after the season ended. They lost midfielder Jermaine Jones, who signed with the L.A. Galaxy this offseason. Then on March 31, they traded away Cronin, a defensive midfielder who served as team captain, and Burch, a left back.
“You have to start sowing the seeds of 2018 today, so that way you can reap the fruit of all the planning, all the foresight in 2018,” Mastroeni said in an article that was published Friday. “So 2018 is critical for us. We’re going to continue doing what we do, but everything is done with the mindset of putting ourselves into position to really be able to utilize all the cap space, all the different transactions we’re making today, in the future.”
The trade and Mastroeni’s comments apparently didn’t sit well with Centennial 38 after the Rapids’ latest loss. Colorado generated just three shots in a 2-0 defeat to Orlando City on Saturday.
“Coming off of a historically successful 2016 season, supporters were buzzing with excitement. Everyone was looking forward to 2017 and how the team could be refined, improved, and be a legitimate contender for trophies,” Centennial 38’s statement read.
“However, the trajectory of the club appears to have strayed far from the course it charted last year. We understand that bad results happen and the team can’t win every time, but the poor performance of the team is not the only concern. The results themselves are part of a broader series of troubling events.”
The Rapids, who have four points, are in last place in the Western Conference with roughly 20 percent of their regular season in the books.
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