Monday, June 17, 2013

Mastroeni To LA

First the trade details.  The Rapids sent Pablo and the rights to Baggio Husidic (who we picked up in the 2011 Re-Entry Draft) to the Galaxy in exchange for a 2nd round pick in next year's draft and an international spot through 2014.

There are two ways I can look at this, with my head or your heart.  Looking at it with my head this is a solid trade by Colorado.  Mastroeni had clearly been passed on the depth chart by Thomas and Sturgis, and we still have LaBrocca and O'Neill who could play that role in a pinch.  Pablo, based on his letter to the fans, obviously thinks he can still play and contribute.  So we have a player that won't be playing but wants to and a team who doesn't need what that player brings.  This is an obvious trade situation.  So Colorado moved a player that was unlikely to be more than a late-game defensive sub and got some roster flexibility back in the form of an international spot and salary cap room (Pablo was a $150-$200K hit this year) as well as a draft pick next year.

Looking at this with my heart, this trade hurts.  Mastroeni is, quite simply, the best player to ever wear a Rapids jersey.  Yes we have players who may have had better careers (El Pibe is the first that comes to  mind) but for what they did in a Rapids jersey, nobody tops Pablo.  He's also once of the few Americans to play in a World Cup Quarterfinal and captain his club side to a championship.  The only move that comes close to this ironically happened on the day Pablo was picked by the Rapids in the post-contract Dispersal Draft, trading Marcelo Balboa to New York where he would make one 10 minute appearance in the final game of the 2002 season.  I expect Pablo will do a bit better in LA, but I have a feeling he'll be retiring at the end of the year as well.

In the end, I understand why the Rapids made this trade and why Pablo wanted to leave.  It doesn't make it that much easier though.  I know that soccer teams don't retire numbers but #25 should be taken out of the rotation for a very long time.  Mastroeni will probably return with the Galaxy on July 27th.  Lets make sure we give him the send off he didn't get yet.

Tomorrow will be the first day in the history of the team that that roster doesn't contain either Marcelo Balboa or Pablo Mastroeni.  Its a new era for the Rapids.

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