LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Pablo Mastroeni
Now that the 2013 season is over, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will look back on the season for every player who was on the club’s roster at some point during the season.
The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with players who made the least number of appearances for the club in all official competitions over the course of the year, starting with Brian Perk and Bryan Gaul, who did not make any appearances for the first team this year, and concluding with midfielder Marcelo Sarvas who played in a team-best 42 games for LA this year. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have one or two evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well and what challenges they faced in 2013 as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and an overall assessment of their season from myself.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 12 (9 in MLS, 3 in CONCACAF Champions League); GS: 6 (3 in MLS, 3 in CONCACAF Champions League); G: 0; A: 1 (in MLS play)
APPEARANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 2
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 2; GS: 2
HIGHLIGHTS: Upon joining the LA Galaxy on June 17 in a trade from the Colorado Rapids, Mastroeni acclimated quickly making seven appearances in his first 10 league matches with the club—including a pair of starts, one of which was on the road against his former club. Following that successful start with LA, Mastroeni was primarily utilized in the CONCACAF Champions League where he made three appearances providing a calming presence for a youth-laden side. Mastroeni did make an impact on the scoresheet in league play, however, as he provided an assist on Landon Donovan’s second goal (and the one that moved him into a tie with Jeff Cunningham for the most goals in MLS history) in the 5-0 victory over Chivas USA on Oct. 6.
CHALLENGES: Injuries have plagued Mastroeni throughout the last two years of his career and they once again hindered him down the stretch in 2013. After midfield mainstay Juninho was suspended for the LA Galaxy’s MLS regular season finale against Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 27, Mastroeni was considered to be a front-runner to step into the starting XI, but was felled by a quad strain in training that prevented him from suiting up. The injury persisted throughout LA’s postseason campaign as he was unable to make the game day roster for either of the club’s matches in the Western Conference Semifinals against Real Salt Lake.
HIS THOUGHTS: “[Retirement] definitely crossed my mind, but physically I just feel so good, and being a part of this organization the last few months [is something that] I've really enjoyed, and it's kind of invigorated my passion for the game again. [Playing for LA] would be the best-case scenario for me. That's what I'm hoping for. I'm going to have to hang them up eventually some time, and I just hope, the way I feel and the way my desire is, I can continue doing it.”
OVERVIEW: At 37, Pablo Mastroeni isn’t getting any younger, but during his brief stint with the Galaxy, he showed that he can still be relied upon to provide a calming presence in the midfield and in central defense. However, Mastroeni is expected to evaluate whether to continue his storied professional career for a 17th year this offseason. Although Mastroeni has stated that the he has the desire to continue to play, his decision may rest on his ability to move his family from Colorado where they have remained throughout his brief time with the Galaxy. Provided Mastroeni is able to work out his family issues and there is interest from LA’s coaching staff, the midfielder could again be a veteran presence for the Galaxy next season.
POLL: How would you rate Pablo Mastroeni’s 2013 season?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com