Pablo Mastroeni boasts some of the most remarkable stats in club history, but his leadership in captaining the club to the 2010 MLS Cup makes him natural selection for the team’s All-Time Best XI.
Mastroeni joined the club in 2002 and quickly made an impact. By the end of the 2004 season, he had been named captain, and he continued to serve as captain for the club through 2013. Mastroeni made the MLS All-Star team in his first season with the Rapids and continued to make seven consecutive appearances on behalf of the club, from 2002-2008.
The midfielder earned team MVP honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2010, Mastroeni’s leadership on and off the pitch was vital for the team on its way to its first MLS Cup win in club history. During that season, he played nearly 2,500 minutes during the regular season and scored a pivotal goal in the conference semifinals against Columbus Crew SC.
In 2011, he became one of only three MLS players at the time to start 300 regular season games. In total for the Rapids, Mastroeni played 225 games, started 217 and played 18,669 minutes, which is more than enough to be the most in club history, with over 2,000 more than Drew Moor, who holds the second spot.
Mastroeni is one of six players in the Rapids gallery of honor because of his trademark tenacity and reliability. His leadership qualities for the club continue to go unmatched, as he is the longest-tenured captain in team history and quickly moved into the head coach role after his retirement in 2013.
Mastroeni served as head coach for Colorado beginning in 2014 and in 2016, he helped the team to its best season in Rapids history. The team finished with the highest points per game in club history and tied the record for the least number of goals allowed with 32. The Rapids went on to make the Western Conference Finals, falling just short of an MLS Cup appearance.
Outside of his playing career with the Rapids, Mastroeni added two additional MLS All-Star appearances. He also earned 65 caps with the US men’s national team and played in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.
It's hard to talk about the Rapids without talking about Mastroeni, as he was the face of the club for over a decade. This Best XI selection is only a piece of his legacy, as the legend of his unmatched leadership lives on.