Leading up to Pablo Mastroeni’s induction into the Colorado Rapids Gallery of Honor on July 25, we want to count down the best moments in his Rapids career. Below are 10 moments that we think are among his best. Vote for your top five via Facebook - up until 1 p.m. MT on Wednesday - and starting on Sunday we’ll count them down all the way to number one. If you think we’ve missed a major moment in his Rapids career, email it to us at email@example.com for consideration.
January 11, 2002 – First Pick in MLS Allocation Draft
The 2001 season was difficult for Rapids fans, but it did net Colorado the first selection in the 2002 Allocation Draft, which was used to pick Mastroeni from the Miami Fusion.
September 23, 2004 – Mastroeni Named Captain
On this day in 2004, with three matches remaining in the regular season, John Spencer passed the captaincy to Pablo Mastroeni – who then held the role for nearly a decade.
September 2, 2006 – Rocky Mountain Cup Comes Alive
Many remember this date as when the Rocky Mountain Cup became one of the great rivalries in MLS. Following a 1-0 Rapids win at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake, things got heated between Mastroeni and the then-RSL owner Dave Checketts.
July 19, 2007 – At Home on the All-Star Team
Mastroeni was named to his sixth straight MLS All-Star team, playing the final 30 minutes in a 2-0 win over Celtic in front of his home fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the year that the stadium first opened.
August 8, 2009 – Wasting No Time
It took just 26 seconds for Mastroeni to score against Chivas USA, igniting a 4-0 rout in which Conor Casey scored the next three goals. It is currently the third-fastest goal in Rapids history.
April 24, 2010 – Long Range Rocket
In a 2-1 road win at the New England Revolution, Mastroeni scored one of the best goals of his career – a game-winning, 30-yard, first-time blast that was nominated for Goal of the Week.
October 28, 2010 – Game-Winner in Conference Semifinal
In the run to the 2010 MLS Cup, Mastroeni scored the only goal in a 1-0 home win over the Columbus Crew in the first leg of the Conference Semifinal. The Rapids dropped the second leg 2-1 before prevailing 5-4 on penalties to advance to the Conference Final.
November 11, 2010 – Winning MLS Cup 2010
With a 2-1 victory in extra time over FC Dallas at BMO Field in Toronto, Mastroeni captained the team to its first MLS Cup, the crowning achievement – so far – in Rapids history.
June 18, 2011 – 200th and 300th
Mastroeni holds records in a number of categories, but this night was special. The match against the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was Mastroeni’s 200th regular season game in a Rapids uniform, and his 300th in MLS.
May 25, 2013 – Final Match with the Rapids
We didn’t know it at the time, but a 2-0 win over Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was Mastroeni’s final match on the field for the Rapids. He started and played 83 minutes.