For the Colorado Rapids, the Pablo Mastroeni era officially kicks off this weekend at Red Bull Arena.
After having a Week 1 bye, the Rapids will open their 2014 campaign under Mastroeni, who spent a decade at the club as a player and retired this past offseason. Their opponent will be the New York Red Bulls, who will be looking to forget their 4-1 loss at Vancouver last weekend when their home opener kicks off at 4 p.m. ET Saturday on Univision Dep.
Tabbing Mastroeni to replace Oscar Pareja, who departed for FC Dallas, was one of many offseason adjustments for the Rapids. Colorado also parted ways with Hendry Thomas, Jaime Castrillon, Atiba Harris and Martin Rivero and loaned Tony Cascio to Houston, while bringing in MLS veterans Marvin Chavez and Marc Burch and signing Spanish midfielder Jose Mari.
The Rapids are poised to change their defensive look under Mastroeni, with Marvell Wynne returning to center back on a full-time basis and Shane O'Neill shifting from his central role to right back. And injuries could cause further changes Saturday, with goalkeeper Clint Irwin (quad strain) and midfielder Dillon Powers (knee tendonitis) listed as questionable.
The Red Bulls, meanwhile, will have Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave back in the equation after the veterans were rested for the season-opening trip to face the Whitecaps on artificial turf. Their returns mean coach Mike Petke will have some tough decisions — most notably choosing between Armando and Ibrahim Sekagya at center back and between Peguy Luyindula and Bradley Wright-Phillips in attack.
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- Pablo Mastroeni
- Oscar Pareja
- Red Bull Arena