Pablo Mastroeni has been a key figure in Colorado since coming here in 2002. He has had many national team appearances, won an MLS cup and led the Rapids in every way possible. Pablo suffered a concussion in one of the early games of the 2012 season that would ultimately cause him to be out the rest of the year. During that time we saw the emergence of guys like Martin Rivero and Jaime Castrillon, and this offseason the Rapids made some very big changes to the team as a whole bringing in a lot of young talent; going from one of the oldest teams in the league to one of the youngest.
This article is admittedly aimed at me (and obviously a lot of others as well). Since I started following the Rapids in 2005 Pablo has been my favorite player. But, I have to admit it might be time for him to step aside and take some other role with the team. It is going to be hard for this team to truly move on if Pablo is still looming out there, ready to come back in, and take the captaincy.
Pablo's leadership on the pitch is undeniable. When Moss and I talked to Brian Mullan after the Portland game; Mullan told us that they are really missing Pablo's voice and in game leadership. While this was undoubtably evident a couple of years ago; with him missing all of last season, and basically all of this season so far, I think the days when Pablo's voice was really impactful are gone.
With all of the change over that happened this offseason I think the need for Pablo's voice has gone away. While I still think a veteran voice and leadership is important, especially with the amount of young talent that the Rapids have, I think that Pablo's influence has gone away and the young talent is looking more at Brian Mullan and Drew Moor for the leadership of the team.
Pablo Mastroeni will surely be part of the Rapids Gallery of Honor shortly after he decides his playing days are over. While it is hard for me to say that he needs to step away, for the betterment of the team I think he needs step away from the pitch.