This past week saw an official changing of the guard within the Colorado Rapids locker room. When Pablo Mastroeni was traded to the LA Galaxy per his request, Drew Moor became the sixth team captain in the 18-year history of the Rapids.
"Drew is our captain," Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja confirmed to ColoradoRapids.com before the team departed for the mid-week match at Chicago. "I don't think Drew has stopped being the captain, because after Pablo was absent much of last year, he was also not available for several games this year. It's something that Drew has been doing with regularity."
It was not a decision Pareja intended to make when the season began.
"It's always difficult when you have to let a player go, it doesn't matter who it is," Pareja said. "But I understand (Mastroeni's) wishes to take this new challenge on, possibly his last one. I didn't want Pablo to go, but I had to open the door because in the end, I think he deserves to do what's in his heart, and I have to support that."
Moor wore the captain's armband for nearly all of 2012 after Mastroeni was sideline with concussion symptoms.
"Pablo is certainly someone that we're all going to miss," Moor told ColoradoRapids.com of the 16-year veteran. "Not just the experience and the great player that he was on the field, but everything he did for this team off the field in the community, his leadership role that came to him naturally. He's somebody that you certainly never replace."
The 29-year-old Moor, in his 10th season, joined the Rapids in a trade from FC Dallas in August 2009 and is one of the longest serving players.
"I certainly feel that my role as a leader has been more important over the course of the last year and a half," said Moor. "And really since I've been on this team I've felt like a player who's been respected inside and outside of the locker room. We have a bunch of guys in here that are quote, unquote, captains - that could wear the armband. Like I said, Pablo's are big shoes to fill. If it's my position to take the reigns I'll certainly give it everything I have."
Moor's first official official match with the band was on June 19, 2013 in a 2-1 loss at Chicago.
Colorado Rapids captains per season:
1996 - 1998: Steve Trittschuh
1999: Marcelo Balboa and Peter Vermes co-captains.
2000 - 2001: Balboa
2002 - 2004: John Spencer (game Mastroeni's captaincy on Sept. 24, 2004 with three matches left in the season)
2004 - 2012: Pablo Mastroeni (through June 16, 2013).