Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni is officially a member of Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy. An accomplished football who is now in the twilight of his career, Mastroeni was acquired from the Colorado Rapids this week. The club also received the rights to midfielder Baggio Husidic in exchange for an international roster slot through the end of the 2014 MLS season and the club’s natural second round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Mastroeni claims 65 national team caps for the USA Men’s National Team, with appearances at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups and the 2003, 2005 and 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cups. Mastroeni also appeared in 325 league games, with seven goals and 26 assists and is one of six players to have started in more than 300 regular season matches in Major League Soccer.
As for Husidic, he appeared in 50 regular season games with the Chicago Fire and has been a fixture for Hammarby, with 35 Superettan appearances under his belt.
“I’m just super excited to be here in a place where I know a lot of the players and the coaching staff as well,” said Mastroeni on Monday to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms, mostly in Colorado, but I’ve seen a lot of players and [I can] bring a little bit of experience to the game off the field, but more importantly, on the field to come in and contribute any way that I can.
“For me, it’s just coming in here and being who I am. Not trying to overdo it and be someone that I’m not and do whatever it takes to contribute to this team.”
“He’s a player of quality and I believe that he can still play a little longer in this league. He’s got great experience and he’ll be a good leader for our club as well,” Arena said of Mastroeni. “He’s the kind of player that we’ve been looking for, so I think that he’s going to help us as we get into the second half of the season.”
“I think it’s good for this team because there a lot of quiet lads here, so it’s good to have someone that speaks a lot,” said Galaxy captain Robbie Keane. “Already in the couple of days since he’s been here, the communication of him telling people to go left or right…certainly does help.”
“It’s good for the rest of us to have another voice and another leader on the field. Sometimes it’s difficult in a forward position, which both Robbie and myself are, to have an impact in that way. You can’t yell 70 yards to the right back or the center back and talk to them easily,” added midfielder Landon Donovan. “Carlo has been good in that way behind those guys and having a little more vocal leadership through the middle of the park could help a lot.”
Mastroeni is available to play for Los Angeles tomorrow against the Portland Timbers at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. With Keane returning from his stint with the Republic of Ireland national team, the time is now for the Galaxy to find the back of the net.
“Hopefully we can get back to winning ways again as soon as possible,” Keane said to LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “You concede that many goals, there’s clearly something wrong. It clearly hasn’t been good enough. We just have to get back to the basics. The good thing about football is there’s always another game. We certainly can turn it around this week.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.