Pablo Mastroeni Called Up To US National Team for Two World Cup Qualifiers

DENVER CO (10-01-2004)- Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni was named to the 23-man roster that will face El Salvador and Panama in a pair of World Cup qualifiers as announced today by U.S. Men's National Team Manager Bruce Arena.

The match against El Salvador on Saturday October 9 is set for 7:00 p.m. (MT) and will be broadcast live on pay-per-view. The U.S. will return to action on home soil four days later on Wed. Oct. 13 when they take on Panama at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. That match will be aired live on ESPN2 with kickoff slated for 5:30 p.m. (MT). Fans can also follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker presented by Philips Electronics.

Mastroeni who was recently appointed the Rapids Team Captain returns to the National Team roster for the first time since a 1-1 draw with Poland in Chicago on July 11. Mastroeni started in central midfield and played 76 minutes in that match but has not appeared in any of the U.S.’s three matches since all World Cup qualifiers because of a quad injury. The 28-year old Mastroeni has now earned 30 caps for the U.S. since making his debut for Bruce Arena over three years ago.

This season Mastroeni has appeared in and started 16 games for the Rapids with the club compiling a 7-5-4 record with the U.S. International in the lineup.

Mastroeni and the rest of the U.S. squad will report to training in Washington D.C. on Sunday October 3 following the full slate of MLS matches on Saturday October 2. The squad will train in the Nation’s Capital before departing for San Salvador.

After the match against El Salvador who the U.S. defeated 2-0 on September 4 the Rapids Captain and his U.S. teammates will return to Washington D.C. for more training ahead of the Oct. 13 rematch with Panama a team that pulled out a 1-1 home draw against Arena’s team in Panama City on September 8.

With the Rapids not returning to MLS action after this Saturday until Saturday October 16 Mastroeni is not expected to miss any game action for his club team.

The Rapids close out the 2004 regular season with a pair of home matches that will see the club attempt to clinch a berth in the 2004 MLS Playoffs. The club will be in action this Saturday October 2 at 7:00 p.m. (MT) when they take on Western Conference rivals the San Jose Earthquakes. With a win in this game the Rapids would assure themselves of a spot in the postseason for the third straight year.

Two weeks later on Saturday October 16 the Rapids close out the 2004 MLS regular season with a match against the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew at 7:00 p.m. (MT). Tickets for these games are on sale now; call 303-825-GOAL for more information.