Clavijo's Job Safe, For Now

The subject of intense scrutiny in his time at the helm of the Colorado Rapids, Fernando Clavijo has been given one more chance to get it right, as team officials confirmed that the Uruguayan head coach will return for the final year of his contract in '08.
Despite the club's failure to make the playoffs in 2007, Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush said in his State of the Club address that owner Stan Kroenke believes in honoring contracts. "Fernando will be back for 2008. He has one more year left in his contract. We know that it is a controversial decision and that some people don't agree with it at all. We respect everyone's opinion on the subject, but at the end of the day, Mr. Kroenke believes in honoring the contracts that we sign, and he believes in honoring his word. I think there are some positives to be learned by that."

Some irate fans have even started up www.FireClavijo.com and are compiling a list of season-ticket holders who have had enough, calling them "People publicly wanting something more than mediocre coaching and a mediocre team."

Plush continued in his SotC address: "Clearly there is some work to do to recover some of our fan base that we may have lost with this decision. We will work diligently to do that and that work has already started. However, the reality is that this organization can win with this coaching staff and this current team."

The decision is clearly a surprising one, as even Plush agrees that 2007 was a miserable year for the club, apart from opening their new stadium, Dick's Sporting Goods Park. "We failed against every goal we put in front of ourselves from the team side this year. It is time for reflection and time for us to figure out how to improve in virtually every area on the team side. We cobbled together some points anyway this year, but it certainly wasn't with any real sense of purpose. There was no real system or a vision of what we want to be."

With all the unrest from Rapids fans, if the team flops coming out of the gates in 2008, I believe Clavijo will be looking for work before the All-Star Break.

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