By DAN KARELL
The Colorado Rapids announced on Monday morning that midfielder Pablo Mastroeni had been traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for a 2014 second-round pick in the MLS SuperDraft and an international slot through the end of the 2014 season.
Mastroeni now will have the opportunity to play for his former coach with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Bruce Arena, where he amassed 65 caps and was on the 2002 and 2006 World Cup squads.
“It will be difficult to leave the Rapids after growing so close to the club and the fans in Colorado,” Mastroeni said in a statement. “I want to thank all the teammates, coaches, and staff I worked with over the years, as well as Stan Kroenke for the chance to play at such a beautiful stadium like Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. My sincere gratitude goes especially to all the fans, who have given so much to me and the team. Though I am excited for a new challenge, Colorado and the Rapids will always hold a special place in my heart.”
The MLS rights to Baggio Husidic, currently with Hammarby in Sweden, were also part of the package sent to the Galaxy.
Currently his his 12th season with the Rapids, the club captain’s finest moment was leading them to the MLS Cup in 2010, but he was always a mainstay in the midfield, starting nearly every match he played in, and playing in at least 20 games per season since 2006. The Argentine-born Mastroeni was originally drafted in Major League Soccer by the Miami Fusion, eventually going to the Rapids as the first overall choice in the allocation draft once the Fusion went bust.
The 36-year-old Mastroeni finishes his time in Colorado with a total of five goals, 16 assists, and just six red cards, despite many bone-crunching challenges breaking up play in the center of the park. Mastroeni holds the Rapids all-time records for games played (225) and minutes played (18,669).
Though the Galaxy didn’t give up much to get him, Mastroeni has struggled with injury, playing in just a total of nine MLS games since the end of the 2011 season. So far this year, Mastroeni started five out of seven matches played.
What do you make of this news? Surprised to see him traded to the Galaxy? Do you see him earning a starting place in LA? What does this mean for Marcelo Sarvas?
Share your thoughts below.