A warm winter day welcomed the Colorado Rapids back from the offseason. As veteran Pablo Mastroeni wrapped up the first training session, his smile revealed his satisfaction of starting the new season.
“For me personally, it’s going to be a new journey,” the returning captain told Goal.com. “It’s one that I’ve walked before. It’s going to look a lot different this year, and one that I am excited about.”
Mastroeni played just two games last year, after concussion symptoms haunted his 2012 season. Now wearing headgear and a positive attitude, the 36-year old showed the same excitement as some of the rookies who were signed at last week’s MLS SuperDraft.
“With change brings a lot of excitement, and it gets you out of your comfort zone. It makes you have to reinvent yourself," he said. "For me, it’s going to be a great challenge, and one that I really look forward to. It’s a challenge in a positive way, not in a scary way -- one that will bring more out of me, so I am l looking forward to everything that comes our way."
After an offseason of surprising trades, the Colorado Rapids new roster is filled with unfamiliar faces. To some, this could be one of the bigger challenges Mastroeni and the Rapids must work through, but the Argentinian native sees it as a favorable part of the preseason.
“I think it’s awesome,” Mastroeni said. “I think every year the league gets better. The clubs get better. The passion grows both on and off the field. These guys come in with such an excitement. For our first training session today, you usually see a lot of rust, but everyone was sharp, for the most part, and there was a lot of good football and cohesiveness for guys that haven’t really played a whole lot together.
“It’s very positive, and I think it’s the attitude of wanting to improve and be on the same page, and having the opportunity to play at this level is awesome for all of us, and I think it something that we never take for granted.”
Tim Gardner contributed additional reporting.
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