Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pablo Mastroeni Will Stay in MLS

After being publicly linked to Seria A side Cagliari and a handful of Serie B sides, Colorado Rapids veteran midfielder Pablo Mastroeni will remain with the Colorado Rapids. Coming on the heels of the announcement of Gary Smith to be the Rapids head coach, this decision by Mastroeni has to make Smith breath a little easier and make the Rapids fans happy as well.

While I can understand the desire of many players to move to European leagues, particularly top ones like Serie A, MLS has to be concerned about the growth of the game in this country when their marquee names head east. While Mastroeni himself will not be the person to grow the game in this country, keeping players like him in MLS will do several things:

1. It will force MLS and owners to really consider their pay scales relative to Europe. The hard salary cap means that a lot of developing players with skill can go east and get twice the salary of the league minimum in MLS and still develop.

2. Keeping Mastroenie here (and other like him) can provide a backbone for developing the game here, if MLS doesn't blow it.

I like Mastroeni as a player and think this a good decision for him professionally and personally. Good luck.

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