Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
One of Major League Soccer’s legends has decided it’s time to hang up the boots.
Pablo Mastroeni announced his retirement today after a 16-year professional career that began with the Miami Fusion and ended with the Los Angeles Galaxy. In between, the 37-year-old spent 11 full seasons with the Colorado Rapids, amassing a total of 334 games played in his career, good for eighth all-time in league history. Mastroeni was a key member of the Rapids side that won the 2010 MLS Cup.
“After spending the last 16 years playing in Major League Soccer and with the U.S. Men’s National Team, I have decided that this is the appropriate time to retire from the game,” Mastroeni said in a statement. “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.”
The defensively stout central midfielder parlayed his success with the Fusion and later the Rapids into 65 caps with the USMNT and appearances at both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Mastroeni joined the Galaxy mid-way through the 2013 season in exchange for an international slot for the 2013 and 2014 seasons and a second round draft pick. The Mendoza, Argentina native made a total of 12 appearances for the Galaxy, recording one assist.
Here are some more notes from around the league:
CHING TESTIMONIAL ROSTERS RELEASED
As Brian Ching begins his retirement, many of his current and former teammates will join him this Friday at his official testimonial match.
The Houston Dynamo revealed the rosters for the match today, which will see the likes of Landon Donovan and Jimmy Conrad grace the White squad while Brad Davis, Paul Dalglish, and Chris Wondolowski will join Ching on the orange squad. For this game, Donovan is listed as a goalkeeper.
In addition, Matt Reis, Corey Ashe, Ricardo Clark, and Stuart Holden will all serve as coaches for the match at BBVA Compass Stadium.
SOUNDERS DECLINE OPTION ON GSPURNING, ACQUIRE FREI
The Seattle Sounders will have a new starting goalkeeper next season.
After two years as their starter, the Sounders announced on Monday evening that they had declined to pick up an option on the contract of Michael Gspurning, parting ways with the 32-year-0ld Austrian goalkeeper. Reports in Seattle speculate that Gspurning was let go because he struggled late in the season for the Sounders and was earning a base salary of $285,000.
During his time with the Sounders, Gspurning made 55 regular season and playoff appearances combined, winning 27 games and recording 20 shutouts.
With Gspurning gone, the Sounders made a move today to bring in want-away goalkeeper Stefan Frei from Toronto FC in exchange for a conditional first-round draft pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
RAPIDS EXERCISE OPTIONS OF IRWIN, POWERS, KLUTE, AMONG OTHERS
Though the Colorado Rapids weren’t able to make a deep run into the playoffs, the fact that they even made it that far exceeded many early-season expectations of a team that was riddled by injuries.
On Tuesday, the Rapids announced that many of the starters from the 2013 season including goalkeeper Clint Irwin, midfielder Dillon Powers, and defender Chris Klute would be returning for next season after picking up their contract options. The club also retained Designated Player signing Gabriel Torres, who will have a full year with the Rapids to work with after scoring three times in seven matches.
Meanwhile, the Rapids are still in contract negotiations with eight players who had their options declined, including winger Danny Mwanga, midfielder Martin Rivero, and midfielder Hendry Thomas.
What do you think of these reports? What’s your favorite memory of Mastroeni? See Ching’s team defeating Donovan? Surprised that the Sounders decided to cut ties with Gspurning? Think Frei can earn the Sounders starting spot?
Share your thoughts below.