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(DENVER) – Former Colorado Rapids great Pablo Mastroeni has acted as a MLS head coach for nearly an entire off-season. All that was left was placing his signature on a contract to make it official.

On Saturday, the Rapids officially named Mastroeni as their head coach during a preseason party for fans. Mastroeni was originally hired this offseason as a special assistant for the team, but assumed head coaching duties after former head coach Oscar Pareja departed for FC Dallas. Following Pareja's departure, Mastroeni coached the Rapids throughout the preseason while the team interviewed other candidates for its head coach opening.do Rapids great Pablo Mastroeni has acted as a MLS head coach for nearly an entire offseason. All that was left was placing his signature on a contract to make it official.

"It is a great honor to take this new position at the Rapids, a club which means a great deal to me and my family," said the Rapids' newest head coach. "I have seen this team's ability and potential up close over the last two months, and I can't wait for the season to get started."

For his career, Pablo spent 11 of his 16 MLS seasons with the Rapids. A veteran of the United States National Team, Mastroeni played in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cup. He made 65 total appearances for the National Team in his career.

The Rapids will begin the MLS regular season on March 15th in New York against the Red Bulls. Colorado fans will get their first look at Mastroeni on the sidelines when they open their home schedule on March 22nd against the Portland Timbers.

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