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The MLS Hall of Shame: Pablo Mastroeni

Background: I’m ready for the backlash, and I hold no remorse for putting beloved American player Pablo Mastroeni on this list. While I love me somes Pablo, both as an MLS star and a US MNT warrior, one cannot deny he is one of the dirtiest MLS players in league history. He plays with passion, but sometimes he lets his top blow.

Career: Pablo has been with the Rapids since 2002,  but he also played in 100 games to start his career with the defunct Miami Fusion. He’s a perenniel all-star and member of many MLS Best XI squads. But, he is also typically one of the league’s leaders in fouls and cards, so I think he earns his spot in my inaugural MLS Hall of Shame class.

Dishonors: Let’s see, Pablo has received more yellow cards (64) than any player in league history. He’s also in the top 10 all-time in fouls committed. His leg crushing tackles have been criticized by players throughout the league. No one likes his rough-and-tumble style. Well, other than Rapids fans who have enjoyed his defensive prowess for years.

Legacy: Pablo is a nasty defensive mid, no doubt about that, but his legacy has been mixed. Most MLS fans want to see more open, creative play, and less of the bone crunching tackles Pablo has displayed for years. His style is reminiscent of Serie A greats who play with reckless abandon, but his 64 (and counting) yellows make him a shoo-in for my MLS Hall of Shame.