LA Galaxy midfielder Pablo Mastroeni to retire
CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, December 10, 2013) – LA Galaxy midfielder Pablo Mastroeni announced today that he has elected to retire from the game. Mastroeni’s decision brings an end to a 16-year MLS career that saw him captain the Colorado Rapids to their first MLS Cup championship in 2010. A veteran of two FIFA World Cups and a nine-time MLS All-Star, Mastroeni currently ranks eighth in MLS history with 334 regular season games played and fifth all-time with 316 regular season games started, scoring seven goals and adding 27 assists in that time.
After more than 11 years with the Colorado Rapids, the 37-year-old was traded to the Galaxy in mid-June, debuting for the club in the 0-0 draw with Portland at StubHub Center on June 19. He went on to appear in nine regular season games for LA, collecting one assist, while also playing in three games in the CONCACAF Champions League.
“After spending the last 16 years playing in Major League Soccer and with the U.S. National Team, I have decided that this is the appropriate time to retire from the game,” Mastroeni said. “I am honored to have spent my entire professional club career playing in MLS and I now look forward to watching this league continue to grow as I begin the next stage of my life.”
A second round pick by the Miami Fusion in the 1998 MLS College Draft following a successful college career at North Carolina State, Mastroeni spent the first four years of his MLS career with the Fusion, appearing in 100 regular season games for the club. He enjoyed his best season with Miami in 2001, scoring twice and earning a spot on the MLS Best XI while helping the Fusion claim the Supporters’ Shield. After the Fusion were contracted following the completion of the 2001 season, Mastroeni was selected by the Colorado Rapids with the first pick of the MLS Allocation Draft, beginning a run of more than 11 years with the club. An immediate starter for the Rapids, Mastroeni would go on to set club records in games played (225) and minutes played (18,669) for Colorado while also being selected as the club’s Most Valuable Player in 2007, 2008 and 2010 when he captained the Rapids to their first MLS Cup title.
“We’d like to congratulate Pablo on his 16-year professional career,” said LA Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena. “Pablo is a special player who made every team he was on better. His presence, work ethic and enthusiasm for the game made him a successful player on both the club and National Team level. We wish Pablo well in the next step of his career.”
In addition to his distinguished club career, Mastroeni also spent nine years playing with the U.S. National Team, collecting 65 caps, 50 of which came when Bruce Arena served as the National Team’s head coach. A member of Arena’s team at both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, Mastroeni made five appearances at the two tournaments, playing three games at the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea before then playing in two games at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. In addition to representing the U.S. in the World Cup, Mastroeni was also a member of the U.S. squad in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007, helping the United States win the tournament in 2005 and 2007, while also appearing in the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2003. He also helped his country qualify for the World Cup 2006 and 2010, appearing in 15 all-time World Cup Qualifiers. Originally born in Mendoza, Argentina, Mastroeni made his National Team debut in a friendly against Ecuador in June 2001 and made his final in June 2009 in a World Cup Qualifying victory over Honduras.