All this week we have been counting down the top five 'Mastroeni Moments' – all from Pablo’s playing career with the Rapids – as voted by you, the fans. The overwhelming #1 choice will surprise few, being the moment Mastroeni led the Rapids to MLS Cup glory.
November 21, 2010: There is little that can be said about the 2010 season that hasn’t already been said about Mastroeni and the MLS Cup (read here for a commentary on Pablo’s role with the club, including in that game).
However, the fact remains that Mastroeni and company entered the playoffs in 2010 after a heartbreaking home draw with Real Salt Lake, and little was expected of the team. But a gutsy win over the Columbus Crew in two legs – a 1-0 victory at home, eventually capturing the series on penalties after a 2-1 loss in Columbus – sent the team to the Conference Finals.
Hosting the San Jose Earthquakes in bitterly cold conditions on November 13 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids got an unlikely goal from Kosuke Kimura and held on for a 1-0 win, sending the team to Toronto to face FC Dallas in MLS Cup.
The championship match was dramatic – after falling behind in the first half, Conor Casey tied the game for Colorado in the 57th minute, and the match went to extra time. Macoumba Kandji made the difference, forcing Dallas into an own goal, sacrificing his ACL in the process. The Rapids finished the match a man down, but the team held on for the win.
Behind the whole championship run, leading the team on the field, was the captain Pablo Mastroeni. His strong play, vocal leadership, and effort throughout the whole season drove the team to success. And when Don Garber presented the trophy to the Rapids, he handed it first to the man who had played more minutes for Colorado than anyone else: the captain, the legend, Pablo Mastroeni.