Mastroeni refutes Sala's accusations

Rapids midfielder maintains 2006 brawl at Dallas wasn't his fault

TORONTO – Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni has hit back at FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala and his accusations that it was the former US international who instigated a brawl the last time these two teams met in the postseason in 2006. They will meet again on Sunday in the 2010 MLS Cup at BMO Field in Toronto. (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/Galavisión/TSN2)

Sala on Thursday said that a show of disrespect by Mastroeni toward FCD fans at Pizza Hut Park four years ago sparked a melee in the match that ended in a penalty kick shootout. The Rapids eliminated Dallas and advanced to the Western Conference Championship, with Mastroeni netting the final kick of the shootout.

“It was just a moment. I don’t know how I’m getting thrown into this thing,” Mastroeni said on Friday. “I didn’t throw any punches.”

Mastroeni’s response referred to punches that the Rapids claim were thrown by Sala in the brawl that ensued after Mastroeni’s clincher.

“I remember scoring and celebrating with the guys, and then I look the other way and there was a brawl,” Mastroeni said. “I don’t know how I had anything to do with it. But it is what it is.

“That was then, this was now. Two different teams, two different coaches, two different mindsets. But hopefully the same result [as in 2006].”

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