CARSON, California – Former United States international and LA Galaxy midfielder Pablo Mastroeni announced Tuesday his retirement from football.
Mastroeni’s decision closes the curtain on a 16-year career in Major League Soccer (MLS) that saw him captain the Colorado Rapids to their first MLS Cup championship in 2010. A veteran of two FIFA World Cups and a nine-time MLS All-Star, Mastroeni currently ranks eighth in MLS history with 334 regular season games played.
After more than 11 years with the Colorado Rapids, the 37-year-old was traded to the Galaxy in mid-June. He went on to appear in nine regular season games for LA, collecting one assist, while also playing in three games in the CONCACAF Champions League.
“After spending the last 16 years playing in Major League Soccer and with the U.S. National Team, I have decided that this is the appropriate time to retire from the game,” Mastroeni said. “I am honored to have spent my entire professional club career playing in MLS and I now look forward to watching this league continue to grow as I begin the next stage of my life.”
The Argentina-born Mastroeni spent the first four years of his MLS career with the Miami Fusion, appearing in 100 regular season games for the club. He enjoyed his finest season with Miami in 2001, earning a spot on the MLS Best XI.
After the Fusion was contracted following the 2001 season, Mastroeni was selected by the Colorado Rapids with the first pick of the MLS Allocation Draft, beginning a run of more than 11 years with the club. An immediate starter, Mastroeni would set a club record in games played (225).
“We’d like to congratulate Pablo on his 16-year professional career,” said LA Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena. “Pablo is a special player who made every team he was on better. His presence, work ethic and enthusiasm for the game made him a successful player on both the club and National Team level.”
Mastroeni won 65 caps with the United States, making his debut in a friendly against Ecuador in June 2001. He was a member of Arena’s 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup teams, making five combined appearances at the two tournaments.
Additionally, Mastroeni was on CONCACAF Gold Cup winning squads in 2005 and 2007, while also playing in the 2002 and 2003 editions of the competition.
The Galaxy will face Mexico’s Club Tijuana in the quarterfinals of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League next year.