Galaxy acquire Mastroeni from Rapids

PabloMastroeni1 (Getty)

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.

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37 Responses to Galaxy acquire Mastroeni from Rapids

  1. Sammy Nishi says:

    Hmmmm > A head-scratcher at first, but then I saw HUSIDIC and the Bruce has been looking for a deep, central MF and he is it .. .. An agreement must already be in place .. ..

    And, I bet they had to take Pablo’s salary to seal the deal .. ..

    Frankie Hejduk, part II .. ..

    • Rory says:

      As a Rapids fan I have to say I hate the Pareja era. Every move we make dumps club legends for more cap space that isn’t used anyway.

      • RB says:

        As a Rapids fan, I have to disagree. Many of the veterans traded away have their best years behind them and though the emotional aspect can be negative, the results on the field have been undeniably positive and bode well for the future.

    • Frank says:

      What else did they get for Frank Hejduk? Didn’t they just pick him up in the waiver draft?

  2. johnny 99 says:

    That what I’m thinking as well. Hammarby is coached by Berhalter, correct? So Bruce may have the inside track on Baggio’s plans.

    • Gary Page says:

      Good insight. 5 years ago, trading for Mastroeni would have been a really good move. I doubt he can contribute much now. I remember when I first saw him, he was really great, but he has slowed down considerably.

    • Benny Dargle says:

      Not only is Hammarby coached by Berhalter, but it is owned by AEG, which also owns the Galaxy and Husidic is represented by the same agency that represents Bruce Arena. So, LA certainly should have the inside scoop on Husidic’s development since leaving MLS. His contract is up after this year I believe, so it may be a prelude to a free transfer for next season. Pablo for half the year, then he retires and they get Husidic. In fact, the story may have the lede reversed. It may be a trade for Husidic where they got Pablo as a throw-in (or where they had to take his salary).

      • Iggy says:

        This is some serious knowledge. Well done.

      • Modibo says:

        Benny Dargle! I remember watching you with the Force in the mid-80s… probably with the Cobras in the late 70s, too. Thanks for opening up the encyclopedia in your head on this one.

  3. Travis says:

    In response to the questions at the bottom there is no way he earns a starting place and it means nothing for Sarva, Mastroeni simply cant stay healthy anymore. He was probably just the price that LA had to pay in order to get rights to Husidic would be my guess

    • LA Fan says:

      I think Husidic is the player they wanted but Mastroeni can play a valuable role. Stephens is not good enough and they seem to leak goals late after he comes on. Mastroeni can come on late and give a good 15-20 shift clogging up the middle when they need to hold a lead. Arena knows how to use these veterans.

  4. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Maybe this final good season from Mastroeni.

  5. JJ says:

    Pure class wish him the best

    • JRP says:

      I would say the exact opposite. I have seen him do things to jersey (his own, after he took it off) in front of small children that could get you arrested at the beach. Class and Mastroeni do not belong in the same sentence.

      • RB says:

        Ha. Ridiculous.

        • Neruda says:

          JRP is right. He embarrassed himself at rice Eccles stadium years back. I always respected him for his time with the US until that happened. Trust me when I tell you that MLS would take serious action against the kind of public display he put on if it were to happen today. It was a wild West back then with hardly any TV stations carrying games.

      • Mister JC says:

        There’s no way for me to know if this is a true statement, but just the thought alone is hilarious…

  6. Old School says:

    I’ll be honest and apparently I’m this out of the loop with the Rapids: I had no idea Mastroeni was still playing.

  7. bottlcaps says:

    I think this is a good pickup for Arena. He values the contributions that older players can give. With Donovan and Gonzo off to the Gold Cup, Villarreal off to the U20WC and a host of players nursing injuries, etc. The Galaxy needed some reinforcements.

    Hammarby is partially owned by AEG and they will not be giving up Husidic anytime soon as they are in a battle for promotion, so his rights cannot help the Galaxy in the immediate future.
    Everybody has had a good chuckle when Arena brings in a veteran, but he has had great luck with them.

  8. timothy says:

    I hope the rapids have a deal with Pablo to have him come back as a coach when he retires

  9. Guest says:

    Galaxy becoming a U.S. international hot spot. A lot of the current (and former players) on L.A.’s squad are on the American team. Bruce Arena former national team coach then you have Donovan, Gonzalez, Franklin, Delagarza (who have recieved a few caps).

    • Travis says:

      I think calling Franklin and Delagarza national team players is generous, making a small number of appearances doesnt really qualify you to me. Theyve played for the US but are nowhere near the radar and havent been for a bit

  10. baropbop says:

    Still doesn’t make sense when you desperately need several players who can start right away.
    Can’t fathom why the galaxy would ever give up an international spot…. Unless this possibly points to omar getting the dp slot

  11. Dr Truth says:

    looks like mahmoud ahmadinejad

  12. K says:

    international slot? superdraft? LOL. Only in the MLS.

  13. limey says:

    I’m guessing Mastroeni will do less minutes in a Galaxy shirt than Hejduk. I think the Baggio thing is the big story here.

  14. The Imperative Voice says:

    If you tear away the Mastro angle, Colorado gave away the rights to Husidic and Mastro for a mediocre draft pick and an international slot. Meh.

    In terms of his records, when he was in his prime he would play a little more than half the MLS games each season. His value to his team was debatable. Most of the fuller seasons where he’s accumulated the games to be Colorado team leader were at the tail end after USMNT. Like the 2010 season. More about staying power with one franchise than like he’s Cal Ripken or something. Not finishing there is perhaps then a little cold blooded, but maybe that evens out with finishing with Bruce.

    He’s barely played the last two years so I think Mastro’s involvement is more of a cap matter than one team seeing if it can put one over on the other. The real question is Husidic versus whomever the Rapids use the cap plus international to sign. If the Rapids sign well then they traded rights to a player they squated and dumped Mastro.

  15. Soccer Games says:

    This is a huge pick up for them! He has a lot to prove though

  16. beachbum says:

    Pablo will probably slot into the depth chart in front of Garcia

  17. Catamount says:

    Another example of Bruce acquiring soccer IQ and leadership. Berhalter has done exceptionally well at Hammarby. Hedjuk works for the Crew. I would not be surprised if Bruce had conversations with Pablo about his next steps into retirement. You look at the organization with Onalfo, Sarrachan, Chris Klein, Berhalter, Kirovski, etc., you can see that Bruce doesn’t just consider the on-the-field implications of the moves he makes. He seems to think about the entire organization. Pablo is a great addition to the Galaxy organization, and will probably be able to help improve the Galaxy’s ability to kill of games with his leadership as well as his soccer acumen.