Pablo Mastroeni looks set to become Real Salt Lake’s head coach on a permanent basis.
The 45-year-old took charge of RSL on an interim basis back in August following the mid-season departure of Freddy Juarez, who joined the Seattle Sounders as Brian Schmetzer’s assistant.
Mastroeni has been an incredibly successful and popular appointment, guiding RSL into the MLS Cup Playoffs and all the way to the Western Conference final, beating the Sounders and Sporting Kansas City before finally falling against the Portland Timbers.
What’s more, Mastroeni’s honesty and vibrant nature in press conferences have proven a hit with supporters and reporters alike.
According to ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, Mastroeni – who has previously shown an interest in remaining in the Rio Tinto Stadium dugout – has done enough to attract attention from multiple clubs, with Salt Lake winning out for his permanent signature.
“After a serious competition between suitors, Real Salt Lake have agreed in principle to retain the services of Pablo Mastroeni. Multiple teams were in for his services yet RSL keep their guy,” Twellman wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
If Twellman is right, it’ll be the third consecutive occasion that RSL have promoted an interim head coach into a permanent role with Juarez and Mike Petke following the same path.
Thus far, Mastroeni has overseen 16 games with RSL, winning seven, losing eight, and drawing once – the latter 0-0 against the Sounders in the Playoffs, ultimately winning 6-5 on penalties. Salt Lake have scored two goals per game under Mastroeni’s stewardship, while they’ve allowed 39 so far.
Mastroeni has previously been linked with the vacant post at FC Cincinnati, though that now looks set to be filled by Philadelphia Union assistant, Pat Noonan.