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Pablo Mastroeni To Return As A Player In 2013

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Colorado's captain Pablo Mastroeni will return again in 2013, ending speculation of a retirement for the club legend.

Jim Rogash

As announced by Chris Bianchi on twitter, Pablo Mastroeni will be returning to the Colorado Rapids in 2013 in a player, not a managerial, role. The announcement ends a long period of speculation that he would be retiring during this off-season after two straight years of concussion syndromes hit him hard and forced him to miss time on the field.

Pablo played a paltry two games in 2012 as he was already recovering from a concussion suffered just before the end of the 2011 regular season. He was injured again against the Columbus Crew in the home opener and played against the Philadelphia Union before being pulled for every game after.

Getting Pablo back will certainly be a boon to the team's presence on the field -- the team suffered from a lack of clear leadership during the long period of time between Mastroeni going down and the arrival of Hendry Thomas. His game will hopefully not have deteriorated much during his absence, as the team will need all the help it can get going into 2013 on the pitch.

A bigger question here is, will this spell the end for Jeff Larentowicz? We've talked of trading the defensive midfielder a lot recently, and Pablo is probably a better depth option behind Thomas than Larentowicz. Combine that with his trade value, and this could spell the end for the Ginger Ninja's career in Colorado.