116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Know Your Yanks: Pablo Mastroeni

Sorry about things being light the past few days, we here on 116th street had some stuff going on. Anyway, looks like we've gotta come fast and furious, with the World Cup only two days away. Here's Pablo Mastroeni.

Remember the days when we had overrated immigrants on our national team? Well, if you're getting to "know your Yanks" for the first time, you probably don't. Anyway, we did, and they were, trust me. Pablo Mastroeni is no David Regis (thankfully), but having moved to the States from Argentina at age four, he is the only non-U.S.-born player on the roster. Mastroeni came up through the collegiate ranks and debuted with the Miami Fusion in 1998. His versatility and defensive play enabled him to get into the National Team picture in 2001, and make the MLS Best XI that same year. When the Fusion were disbanded following the 2001 season, Mastroeni caught on with the Colorado Rapids, for whom he has been a fixture (and eventual captain) ever since. In 2002, named as an injury replacement for the U.S. World Cup team, he found himself a surprise starter, and played a key role in helping the U.S. reach the quarterfinals.
Mastroeni can play in either a central midfield role, or as a central defender. His strength is his ability to win the ball from attacking players, and his ability to start counterattacks is underrated. He has been known to be foul-prone, and while he's not very much of an offensive player, but his defensive capabilities may allow him to take a starting role once again in Germany.

Career Highlights:

1998: Makes pro debut with the Miami Fusion FC (USA, Major League Soccer).

2001: Named to MLS Best XI. Makes U.S. Men's National Team debut.

2002: Joins Colorado Rapids (USA, Major League Soccer) on an MLS allocation. Wins Gold Cup with USA. Advances to World Cup quarterfinals with USA, before elimination against Germany.

2004: Named Rapids captain.

2005: Wins Gold Cup with USA.


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