US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ MNT midfielder Pablo Mastroeni

What’s it going to be? Door number one, door number two, or door number THREE?!? “In 3’s” peeks inside the head of a select National Team player as they pick one of three choices for questions about personal tastes and pop culture.

Favorite city you’ve lived in over the past 10 years: Miami, Fla., Denver, Colo., or Raleigh, N.C.?
Pablo Mastroeni: Favorite place I’ve played is in Ft. Lauderdale at Lockhart Stadium when the 2001 Miami Fusion were at the top of the table.

Best activity to do in your hometown of Phoenix, Ariz.: Golfing, hiking in the mountains or taking a dip in the pool to escape the heat?
PB: Fishing in northern Arizona, where the temperature is 20 degrees cooler and the mountains are beautiful.

Best city to visit in your native country of Argentina: Buenos Aires, Mendoza or Cordoba?
PB: Mendoza is the only place I’ve spent quality time, not to mention the fine wines.

Best pre-game ritual: sleeping, listening to music or just relax?
PB: Listening to music and a little bit of visualization.

Biggest reason you’ll never sport the 2002 World Cup dreads: Takes too long to grow out, been there done that or not the best to sport during games on hot summer days?
PB: I would love to grow the dreads out again. Unfortunately, my hair isn’t as thick as it used to be and it would take too long to grow out.

Favorite thing to do on the road: play cards, play video games or read a book?
PB: Read a book. I’m currently reading a Grisham thriller called “The Broker.”

What you’ve been most successful in growing in your vegetable garden: Tomatoes, peppers or carrots?
PB: Definitely tomatoes. They are the easiest and the best tasting.

Most nerve-racking day of your life: Starting the opening game of the 2002 World Cup against Portugal, proposing to your wife on national television during halftime of Fusion-MetroStars game or getting your citizenship in 2001?
PB: Has to be proposing to my wife on national television. I really didn’t know if she was ready for it and with the three second delay it made for a tense couple of moments in the middle of the field all by myself.

Team with the best chance to win the World Cup: Brazil, Argentina or England?
PB: Brazil. They prove, cup after cup, that they know exactly what to do to reach the last stages of the World Cup.

League in the world other than MLS that you’d like to play in: English Premier League, Serie A or German Bundesliga?
PB: English Premier League would be my first choice, simply because every game is played with so much passion, and the language wouldn’t be a problem.

When you will score your first international goal: This year, sometime before I retire or it just ain’t gonna happen?
PB: Honestly, it may come down to a penalty kick being awarded to our team and, because we already have a comfortable lead late in the game, I have my best opportunity to score. So, it will probably never happen.

Superstitions on day of game: Have one, have more than one or don’t have any?
PB: I just try and visualize what I have to do when I step onto the field.

Your favorite team in Primera Division de Argentina: River Plate, Boca Juniors or Independiente?
PB: River Plate, because my father was a huge supporter growing up and it trickled down to me.

Best player to ever suit up for the Colorado Rapids: John Spencer, Marcelo Balboa or Carlos Valderrama?
PB: John Spencer. He was the most honest, talented and hard working player I’ve played alongside.

Other Sports
Player the Houston Texans should have picked with the first overall pick in the NFL draft: Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart or Vince Young?
PB: Reggie Bush. He’s the real deal.

What should be done about Barry Bonds’ homerun records: Don’t touch them, remove them from the record book or add an asterisk to each one?
PB: I would put an asterisk by each one, because whether or not he used steroids, he still had to hit a home run.

In what men’s sport does your alma mater, North Carolina State, have the best chance to win a national championship in the coming year: Soccer, football or basketball?
PB: Basketball, We have a great basketball following and the team is getting better every year.

Without checking online, which of these years did the Wolfpack NOT win the NCAA basketball national championship: 1983, 1977 or 1974?
PB: 1977. I’m a big-time Wolfpack fan. I know these things.

Prediction for the Colorado Rockies this season in the National League West: First place, last place or sneaking into the wild card?
PB: Last place. I go to enjoy the sunshine and the peanuts.

You’re in charge of providing dinner: Making a meal, hitting the frozen pizza or going out?
PB: Making a meal. I love to cook and have been learning new techniques and recipes.

Best chain burrito joint: Chipotle, Baja Fresh or Qdoba?
PB: Qdoba. They steam their tortillas and don’t use as much rice.

What are you checking if provided with one of these three choices on a wedding invitation: Chicken, steak or fish?
PB: Fish. I’ve pretty much given up on beef, and I eat a lot of chicken.

Best fast-food burger joint: McDonalds, Burger King or Wendy’s?
PB: None of the three. I don’t eat fast food, other than Qdoba.

Reality show you’d most like to be on: “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” or “American Idol”?
PB: American Idol, after a year’s worth of some serious voice lessons.

Best soccer movie: “Victory,” “Bend it Like Beckham” or “Ladybugs”?
PB: Victory. Gotta love Stallone.

Women’s magazine you’ll actually admit to reading an entire article in: Cosmo, Glamour or InStyle?
PB: None. The women’s mag I read is Parents.

Whatever became of the band, “Chicken Head Killas,” which you played guitar in while living in Miami: Fell apart after losing crucial element (that’d be you), still playing in the Miami area or preparing to release a CD?
PB: Fell apart once we realized that people actually wanted us to play live.

Besides yourself, best musical artist on the Men’s National Team: Bobby Convey (boy band-like voice), Clint Dempsey (freestyle rap) or Kyle Martino (guitar)?
PB: Clint is probably the most talented, but Bobby could definitely back him up, and Kyle could chop up some edgy licks for Clint to rap to.