Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Direction From New Leadership

Over the last two days we've heard from the Front Office about their plans in two different ways.  First,, in a Op-Ed published by the Denver Post yesterday.  Second, in a YouTube Twon Hall held this afternoon that can be rewatched here (starts at the 11:10 mark).

I was going to do a rough transcript of the Town Hall but I gave up after a few minutes as I realized most answers where just going to be talking points from the editorial the day before.  I did get the second question of the Town Hall, asking for a realistic time frame to see actions that match the goals set out in the op-ed but Smith said he wasn't willing to set an unrealistic deadline or artificial time frame.  Really not the answer I was looking for.

The more concrete items I took from the Town Hall:
  • The Juan Ramirez "situation" will be resolved shortly.  Somebody on Facebook pointed out that he's no longer listed on the Rapids roster on  My bet is that they are crossing the t's and dotting the i's on a mutual termination contract that was agreed to ad submitted before the window closed.  That would allow Ramirez to join any team outside the window (as he was a free agent before the window closed) and would get him off the Rapids books, probably for a lower number than keeping him around to the end of the season.
  • Smith said the decision to remove Pablo was his, with the support of the rest of management.  No surprise but its always good to hear somebody tep up and take responsibility for a major decision.
  • They expect to be a playoff team next year.  That's the minimum I think we should expect but at least they aren't selling us a line about next year being a rebuilding year.
  • They are looking forward to the CCL and are going in with the intent to win it.  I mean, yeah, they pretty much weren't going to say anything else but there was no hedging of the goal or skirting around the issue, so I assume we're at least going to take it seriously.
Overall for both of these events I was more impressed with the delivery than the message.  We've never seen the FO come out with an Op-Ed in the Post to reach out to fans.  The Town Hall has been done before but given the short time frame and the fact that this was new leadership getting their plan out to the fans and not existing leadership doing damage control the fact that they had a Town Hall is a positive sign.

The message itself is nothing more than we've heard in the past.  Smith has talked a lot in the last 48 hours or so about the "Rapids Way" but we heard a lot from Hinchey about "OneClub" in the past.  We've heard the Rapids say they want to play dynamic, attacking soccer, and then roll out Pablo-ball.  Its hard to put much stock into anything the Front Office says without seeing actions to back it up.

Smith did make it clear that the next "big" step will be the hiring of the new coach.  That will really tell us if what Smith has been saying is talk or a true new direction for this club.

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