Sala accuses Rapids' Mastroeni of being instigator

FCD 'keeper points finger at Colorado captain for '06 PHP melee

TORONTO – The last time that 2010 MLS Cup finalists FC
Dallas and the Colorado Rapids met in a postseason match, it ended in a penalty-kick shootout and a brawl ensued as the Rapids celebrated a playoff victory on enemy
territory at Pizza Hut Park on Oct. 28, 2006.

The goalkeeper for FC Dallas at the time was current back-up
Dario Sala, and the veteran Argentine points the finger at Colorado captain
Pablo Mastroeni – who netted the final PK
against Sala to eliminate Dallas – as the instigator of the melee.

“He disrespected the fans in Dallas and that’s what happened
then,” Sala said after his team arrived into Toronto on Tuesday. “Pablo is like
that. He provokes players as well as the fans. Hopefully now we’re the ones laughing in his face [on
Sunday]. Not to provoke, but because we will have won.”

Sala claims a similar scenario also occurred at Real Salt
Lake after a Rapids road win. The neutral crowd at BMO Field on Sunday in the
MLS Cup final will make for a different scenario.

“Hopefully, they celebrate in peace if they have to
celebrate," he said of the Rapids, "and if not, that they cry in peace in their hotel."

There is clearly no love lost between Mastroeni and Sala. The
fact that the Rapids captain was also born in Argentina has done little to
endear themselves to one another.

“In general, all Argentines or half-Argentines in the league,
we say hello to each other, eat out with each other and we fraternize,” Sala
said. “He’s always been the exception.”

The 36-year-old FCD ‘keeper, who lost his starting job to
Goalkeeper of the Year finalist Kevin Hartman, admits to being close friends
with at least one Rapids player – reserve and former Argentine international
Claudio Lopez.

However, the two will not speak to each other this week.
Instead, Sala says it will be “to the death” between them as they both battle
for their first MLS Cup titles.

Sala may be the only FC Dallas holdout from that melee in
2006, but he says that the sparks will still be flying on Sunday.

“We do have a history against Colorado and there has always
been animosity between us,” Sala said. “The final is not going to be
the exception.”

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