HERRIMAN, Utah, Aug. 27, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Real Salt Lake has announced the immediate departure of head coach Freddy Juarez.
Current RSL Assistant Pablo Mastroeni has been named the interim head coach of Utah’s Major League Soccer Club effective immediately, said a news release issued Friday.
Real Salt Lake has immediately begun its search for the club’s new head coach, officials said.
“I’ve had the incredible opportunity to grow with Freddy in this organization over the last 11 years,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to share this experience with him. We are a better club for the contributions Freddy has made. He leaves Real Salt Lake with a legacy that we will appreciate for years to come. He is an extremely talented coach who will bring passion and expertise to his next opportunity.
“Today we immediately begin an exhaustive search for the right person to lead our club to our desired and expected levels of success. With our combination of talent, infrastructure, commitment to development, and the local relevance thanks to our incredible fan base, we are uniquely positioned to usher in a new era of growth and success for Real Salt Lake and the Utah sports community.”
A specific reason for Juarez’ departure was not given.
Juarez, 41, originally joined the Real Salt Lake organization as RSL Academy head coach in 2010, winning the USSDA U-16 Championship in 2012, the news release said. The Las Cruces, New Mexico native remained with the Academy until being promoted to head coach of Real Monarchs SLC in the club’s inaugural season in the USL in 2015. After two seasons in that role, Juarez was again promoted, joining Real Salt Lake’s 2017 coaching staff as an assistant coach.
Juarez assumed the role of interim head coach of Real Salt Lake on Aug. 11, 2019 and helped lead the club to a third-place finish in the Western Conference and a berth in the Western Conference semifinals. On Dec. 3, 2020, Juarez was named the head coach of Real Salt Lake to become the fifth head coach in the club’s history.
Mastroeni, 44, joined RSL’s staff prior to the 2021 season after one season as an assistant coach with Houston Dynamo FC on the staff of Tab Ramos. The five-time MLS All-Star played 16 seasons in Major League Soccer.
Following his playing career, Mastroeni took the reins as the head coach of the Colorado Rapids in 2014. In 136 games at the helm, he coached the Rapids to the club’s all-time best regular-season finish, earning a franchise record 58 points in 2016, finishing second in the Western Conference at 15-6-13, and advancing to the Western Conference Final.
“Despite only joining us prior to this season, Pablo Mastroeni knows our roster more intimately than anyone,” Fall said. “He is the ideal person to take the reins right now and continue our push for a playoff berth. We have the utmost confidence in his ability to maximize the talent on our roster in the short term.”
Real Salt Lake returns to action with Mastroeni leading the club this Sunday, Aug. 29 when it visits Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.