LA Galaxy acquire veteran midfielder Pablo Mastroeni
CARSON, Calif. (Monday, June 17, 2013) – The LA Galaxy have acquired midfielder Pablo Mastroeni from the Colorado Rapids. A veteran of the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, Mastroeni has appeared in more than 350 regular season and postseason games during his MLS career, which began in 1998. In addition to Mastroeni, who captained the Rapids to the MLS Cup championship in 2010, the Galaxy received the rights to midfielder Baggio Husidic in exchange for an international roster slot through the end of the 2014 MLS season and the club’s natural second round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Now in his 16th professional season, Mastroeni began his MLS career in 1998 with the Miami Fusion, who selected him in the second round of the MLS College Draft out of North Carolina State. He spent four years with the Fusion, during which he was named to the MLS Best XI in 2001 and selected as the club’s Defender of the Year three times. He joined Rapids ahead of the start of the 2002 season when he was selected by the club with the first pick of the MLS Allocation Draft.
The 36-year-old has spent the last 12-plus seasons with the Rapids, leading the club to their first MLS Cup championship in 2010 and being named to the MLS All-Star Team six times. Colorado’s all-time leader in games played and minutes played, Mastroeni was selected as the club’s MVP in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He played in and started a career-high 30 games in 2011, but was limited to a career-low of two games last season while recovering from a concussion. This season, he has appeared in seven regular season games, starting five.
For his career, Mastroeni has appeared in 325 regular season games, scoring seven goals and adding 26 assists. He is one of six players in league history to start more than 300 regular season games and his 325 games played are the 10th most in MLS history.
Originally born in Mendoza, Argentina, Mastroeni made his U.S. National Team debut in a friendly against Ecuador in June 2001, shortly after obtaining his U.S. citizenship. He went on to collect 65 caps in a nine-year international career with the U.S., playing under Bruce Arena at both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups while also playing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2003, 2005 and 2007, helping the U.S. win the tournament in 2005 and 2007. He made his final appearance for the U.S. in a 2-1 win over Honduras in a World Cup Qualifier at Soldier Field in Chicago on June 6, 2009, one day shy of the eight-year anniversary of his international debut.
Husidic appeared in 50 regular season games during three seasons with the Chicago Fire from 2009-11, setting career-highs in 2010 when he played in 22 games and scored five goals to go along with three assists. Following the 2011 season, Husidic was selected by the Rapids in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Process, but he chose to sign in Sweden with Hammarby, who are coached by former Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter. Since the start of the 2012 season, Husidic has appeared in 35 league games for the Swedish Superettan side, scoring once.
Mastroeni will be eligible to make his Galaxy debut on Wednesday night when the club hosts the Portland Timbers in their first-ever game at the newly-renamed StubHub Center. That game, which is presented by StubHub, kicks off at 7:30 p.m.