Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rapids All-Time Team: Defensive Midfielder

The starting defensive midfielder for the Rapids All-Time Team is Pablo Mastroeni.

How Acquired: First pick in 2002 Allocation draft from the contracted Miami Fusion.

Years In Colorado: 2002 through current day

How Departed: Still with the team

Next to Balboa, this was the easiest pick on the team. The Rapids essentially have two eras in their history, the Balboa era and the Pablo era. Combined they have been on the roster for every game in team history. Mastroeni is currently the team record holder in games played, games started, and minutes. He played his 200th regular-season match for the Rapids a few weeks ago, the first Colorado player to reach that mark. Not surprisingly he's also the all-time leader in both yellow and red cards, with almost twice as many as the next closest players (Beckerman, Borchers, and Ihemelu).

Pablo is also one of only two Rapids (again, along with Balboa) to play in the World Cup as a member of the team. He stepped in at the last minute in 2002 for an injured Chris Armas and helped take the National Team to their best finish at the World Cup since 1930. That solidified his spot as a regular starter for the Nats for the next 6+ years, including the 2006 World Cup team. While he never officially retired from international play he hasn't played for the team since early in 2009 and it appears his time at that level is over.

In his time with the Rapids Pablo has been one of, if not the, best defensive midfielders in the league and, barring injury, an automatic starter. Mastroeni has been the team captain for the last 6+ years, including captaining the team to their first MLS Cup last year. He's reportedly had chances to move abroad, being linked most recently with teams in Spain and Italy when his last contract expired in 2008 however he chose to stay with the Rapids and finish his career here.

You simply can not put together an all-time Rapids team without including Pablo Mastroeni.


Jester said...

You may want to edit the post. It says "starting left center back".

Everything else is spot on. You could also add that LaBrocca and Beckerman would not be where they are today without Pablo's mentoring.

Jason Maxwell said...

Doh! See what happens when you use copy/paste? Fixed. Thanks for the heads up.