KUSA - Colorado Rapids legend Pablo Mastroeni will be inducted into the Rapids Gallery of Honor on July 25, prior to the Rapids match against Chivas USA at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The ceremony will include a video to honor the current Rapids head coach and former team captain, as well as an unveiling of Mastroeni's name and number among the all-time club greats.
"For many years, Pablo was the face of the Colorado Rapids, leading the team on the field as our captain and being a phenomenal presence in our community," Tim Hinchey, President of the Rapids, said. "He continues his importance to our club as our Head Coach, and this night gives everyone an opportunity to honor and thank him for everything he did in his more than 12 years as a player here in Colorado."
Fans are encouraged to arrive early to the match to watch the pregame festivities, and the first 2,000 fans to arrive at Dick's Sporting Goods Park will receive a bobblehead that features Mastroeni in his 2010 uniform, the year he led the club to the MLS Cup.
Pregame festivities will also include a video of the midfielder's highlights, as well as the official unveiling of Mastroeni's name alongside other Gallery of Honor members Marcelo Balboa, Paul Bravo, Chris Henderson and John Spencer.
Colorado's most decorated player, Mastroeni was named to the MLS All-Star Team in his first seven years with the club (2002-2008), and earned Rapids MVP honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He currently holds club records for most regular season games played (225), games started (217) and minutes played (18,669), and served as the Rapids captain from late 2004 until mid-2013. He was named the club's seventh Head Coach in history on March 8, 2014 after leading the team throughout preseason.
Mastroeni came to MLS with the Miami Fusion as the 13th overall selection in the 1998 MLS College Draft after a standout four-year career at North Carolina State. In four years with Miami, Mastroeni appeared in 100 regular season games, made two MLS All-Star teams, and earned a spot on the MLS Best XI in 2001 while helping the Fusion to the Supporters' Shield with the league's best regular season record.
He joined the Rapids in the 2002 MLS Allocation Draft after Miami was contracted, and played in 12 seasons with Colorado before a trade to the LA Galaxy in June of 2013, retiring at the end of the season. In total, Mastroeni played 334 MLS regular season matches, eighth most in league history, and 27,522 minutes, fifth on the all-time list and second among non-goalkeepers.
Also a veteran with the United States national team, Mastroeni made 65 appearances for his country over the course of nine years. The holding midfielder played in both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, playing three games at the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea as the U.S. reached the quarterfinals, and two more at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
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. Mastroeni made his national team debut in a friendly against Ecuador in June 2001 and made his final appearance in June 2009 in a World Cup qualifying victory over Honduras.
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