Pablo Mastroeni: Colorado will always have a place in my heart
To the Colorado community:
Today is a difficult day for me, being both excited for a new challenge and deeply grateful to have been a member of the Rapids for the last 12 years. A big part of who I am, both personally and professionally, comes from the state of Colorado and the people who have supported me in my time here.
Since coming to the Rapids, this organization has changed greatly, but nothing compares with the last few years. While Denver is seen as a small market, this club’s vision is big, and I notice it every day: players getting recognized in the community, Rapids jerseys and gear all over the city, the atmosphere at the stadium and a general sense of excitement about the club. The vision from Tim Hinchey and the front office will really make a difference, especially with the performance on the field. There is strong leadership in the office and the locker room, and the Rapids are poised for success for years to come.
At the same time, this is the right moment for a final challenge in my playing career, and the reasons are complicated. While it is easy to focus on soccer, there is a personal aspect to everything I decide, and this is something that my family and I need. It’s the next step on our journey, one where we will move outside our comfort zone to grow and learn. On the field, I am honored to have the chance to reunite with Bruce Arena, who brought out some of my best while with the National Team. This move also allows us to be closer to family in Arizona. But we will always have roots here in Colorado.
Of the many memories from my time with the Rapids, one stands out in particular. The Eastern Conference Final in 2010 took place on a bitterly cold night, and as the players took the field, we saw a completely packed house. After the game, we took a victory lap and all the fans waited until each player came by – people were cheering late into the freezing night. Our fans were the best 12th man I could imagine, and that night showed what can happen when the players, staff, front office and supporters can come together into a true community. Without that bond, it would’ve been impossible to bring MLS Cup home to Colorado.
I want to thank all my teammates, who have been my closest friends, especially in tough times. It’s an amazing group of guys, especially now, who are committed to doing whatever it takes to get a result for the Rapids.
I also remain thankful to Stan Kroenke and KSE for their support of the club, for building a beautiful stadium in Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and supporting soccer in Colorado and the United States. The front office has this club in good hands.
For the fans, I can only say this: being with the Rapids for 12 years, there’s an incredible connection that was formed with this community, and I will be forever grateful for that experience. I always tried to say thanks by giving everything I had on the field, but now, I will have to do it with words. Thank you again for all your support, for giving hope when things looked dim. Colorado will always have a place in my heart.
I wish you all the very best, and I will see you soon.