Colorado Rapids

New Shirt, New Player, But Still No Striker

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Two announcements from the Rapids today. First the 2018 home jersey was unveiled:
Pretty straight forward. Paired with light blue shorts and the burgundy socks it will look good on the field. If I needed a new jersey I'd be happy to pick this one up but right now I've got a few others in the queue, namely Blackburn's road jersey and a Swedish National Team jersey before the World Cup.

Lack Of A Striker Looms Over Rapids

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No, not that type of striker
Today started with a rumor that the Rapids were chasing Preston Eoin Doyle, only for it to get squashed in a matter of hours as he was loaned back to Oldham before the English transfer window closed at the end of the day. In ended with news that attacking draft picks Brian Iloski and Frantzdy Pierrot are passing up their chance to make MLS for trials in Europe.

A Decade Of View From The Couch

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10 years ago tonight I wrote my first post on this blog. Sadly it was ripping into the team for doing nothing in the offseason but the point is that it started something I didn't expect to last this long. A MLS Cup, a Supporters Shield runner-up, many failed USOC campaigns, and 1760 posts later I'm starting my second decade of blogging this team.

Preseason Starts Tomorrow

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In today's Superdraft rounds 3 and 4 the Rapids added 3 more players who will likely (later round draft picks have been known to decide to not pursue a career and never report) join the rest of the team in Commerce City this week as training camp opens officially tomorrow morning.

In the 3rd round the Rapids took GK Thomas Olsen out of the University of San Diego.

Tommy Smith Incoming and Superdraft "Preview"

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So those posts last week where I downplayed the likelihood of Tommy Smith joining the Rapids? Oops. Its looking like he'll be in camp at least in time to go to Arizona with the team next Wednesday. At least, if the reporting from his current team is to be believed. This morning we woke up to a report from an Ipswich paper that the deal to sell Smith to Colorado was done pending Ipswich Town singing a replacement.

New Players...Almost Official, A Callup, and a Negotiating Tactic?

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Bunch of news today. We'll begin with the big stuff. At 4pm today fans were invited to RiNo for a chance to meet Jack Price and Edgar Castillo. There has yet to be an official announcement of the details of their signings but clearly they've joined the team. The Denver Post article confirms what most fans had inferred from Hudson's interviews, we'll be playing a 3-5-2/5-2-3 this season with 3 CBs and Hairston and Castillo as wingbacks.

Player Rumors Are Swirling

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We've had 2 new player rumors break today and confirmation of an existing one as well.

First we'll start with the two-fer from Steven Goff. Wolves center mid Jack Price is discussing terms with the Rapids and Castillo is a done deal. I've heard the same on both fronts. Price is a 25 year old midfielder who's played his whole career with Wolves, coming through their academy (he has gone on loan to a couple of clubs).

2018 State Of The Rapids

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I'd call this the State of the Union, but then I'd be talking about Philly and who the hell cares what Philly's status is this offseason? :D
As we enter 2018 I thought it would be a good time to take stock of where we are and what we should be expecting in the 7 weeks between now and our opening CCL match against Toronto.

Christmas News Recap

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Sorry for the silence over the last two weeks, I was visiting my father-in-law in Florida for the holidays. A recap of what happened in Rapids-land while I was gone, roughly in chronological order.

* Rapids pick Mike Grella in Re-Entry Draft, immediately trade him to Columbus for a 2019 2nd round draft pick
  • As the Rapids Media Director later confirmed on Twitter this was a quick way to get a free draft pick.

News On Mohammed Saeid

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Yesterday's roster moves contained only one real surprise, the Rapids not picking up Mo Saeid's option. Today the Rapids media director tweeted the following:
We would have loved to keep Mo. A great player and even better person. Unfortunately, due to some personal circumstances, Mo asked for his option not to be picked up.

Roster Cut Day And Hudson "News"

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Big day today as the Rapids announced their option pickups and roster cuts going into the offseason. Lets break them down:

  • Sam Hamilton's option picked up - Easy decision, first round draft pick, cheap, still has time to develop
  • Eric Miller's option picked up - Meh. He is versatile, being able to play anywhere on the back line, but he's not particularly good at any of those positions.

Expansion Draft Coming, Maybe?

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Next year LAFC becomes team #23 in MLS. From all expectations there will be an expansion draft sometime in December for them, but oddly there's been no announcement of the timing or rules for that draft. Maybe MLS is going to do something different this time?

For now I'm going to assume its coming and I'm going to assume its going to use essentially the same rules as last year's draft for Atlanta and Minnesota used.

Rumor Roundup

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A bit of news and rumor from the first week of the offseason. The primary source is from Padraig Smith's interview on the Vic Lombardi radio show on Wednesday morning.

Most notable, to me, was Smith's talk about how Gashi's play was disappointing this year and how it stemmed from him not following the offseason plan laid out for him after the 2016 season.

Two Bits Of News

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Two pieces of news today.

  • The players union's salary guide was updated today. We know that Aigner is making $425K in base salary per year, with guarantees he's at $470 which is just over max salary range, making him a TAM player. I assume he has an escalation clause for next season.

Juan Ramirez Officially Off The Roster

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As expected, the Rapids announced today that they and Juan Ramirez mutually agreed to a contract termination. That's one more player off the roster as we rebuild this offseason and we now have an open DP slot.

Two Loans This Week

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The Rapids have loaned out two players this week, Sam Hamilton to Drogba's Phoenix Rising and Castillo to Charlotte. That last frees up the international spot we need to add Aigner who returned to town today and will start training with the team when they return from Dallas.

Still no word on the status of Juan Ramirez who is no longer on loan but we don't have an international spot to put him on our roster again.

Rapids Power Down In The Transfer WIndow

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Well, that was anti-climatic. After multiple published statements about improving the team in this window we got a new German winger who hasn't even started training with the team yet and at essentially literately at the deadline last night we swapped unwanted players with Orlando. We'll start with last night's trade then look at the (lack of) activity int he window as a whole.

Sjoberg Re-Signed, More On Aigner

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Our second piece of good news in as many days as the team announced that Axel Sjoberg has signed a new deal that will keep him at the club at least through 2020 with a club option for 2021. This is a great building block for the next few years with the only possible concern being that Sjoberg seems a bit injury-prone.

The Front Office Apparently Took A Gold Cup Vacation

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We are now 11 days into the 31 day summer transfer window. So far the only thing approaching a valid rumor was a brief blip around Michael Carrick last night which the Front Office dispelled this morning by saying there have been no discussions with him. Squashing that story is the ONLY thing we've heard out of the front office in regards to player movement during the transfer window.

The Window Is Open

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As of this morning the summer transfer window for MLS has opened. It will stay open for just over 4 weeks (through Aug. 9th). This is the last opportunity this season for the Rapids to add international players or make trades with in the league and the team desperately needs to add talent.

Let's break the team down by position and see where they need to add talent and, possibly, where they can afford to give up talent (or lack of talent).

When All Else Fails, Change Nothing

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From Thursday:
This will be a dour game between the two teams with the least amount of shots on goal this season. In the end Vancouver has better players and will get a 1-0 win.
Which is exactly what happened. After 5 losses and 3 straight shutouts though the Rapids decided to stand pat as the transfer window closed today.

Colorado Makes Significant Roster Moves

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A surprising set of moves from the FO today. So surprising that at first many fans thought it was an early April Fool's Day prank. It turned out to be real though. Let me break down the actual transactions, then we'll get into the analysis.
Transaction 1:
  • Colorado sends D Marc Burch to Minnesota in exchange for M Josh Gatt, M Mohammed Saied, and an international slot
Gatt is a 25 year old attacking midfielder who started his career on fire, getting 2 caps for the u.

Time Is Running Out If there's To Be Another Significant Signing

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We are now 12 days from the season opener. The team seems to be coming together in Phoenix with the addition of Nana and Gashi returning from injury. There hasn't been much addition to this team from 2016 however. Two new homegrown players, Gordon who's likely to be a super-sub, and Nana along with some draftees (probably, no signings yet).

Welcome Nana!

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That's Bismark "Nana" Adjei-Boatang getting ready to board the bus to the airport with the team this morning (and Tim Howard, obviously). He got into Denver last night and flew out to Tucson with the rest of the team for the Desert Diamond Cup. I expect him t get a lot of playing time in Arizona.

Rapids Make A Resource Trade

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Today the Rapids traded an international slot for the 2017 season to NYCFC for $75K in General Allocation Money.

This is an interesting trade only in that the Rapids currently have seven international players and somewhere between 6 and 8 international slots after this trade. Its been rumored that Badji and Sjoberg are pursuing green cards (which would make them domestic players under MLS roster rules), this trade is probably a good sign that they are close to getting them.

Update On Camp Trialists

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Daniel Boniface came through with the info on the 4 trialists in camp. I was wrong in my earlier post tonight, Epstein is not one of the Academy goalkeepers. In short (see Boniface's article for the full details):

GK Cody Mizell (Charlotte, played with Atlanta and Tampa in NASL)
GK Connor Gavigan (Creighton, played in the Rapids Academy)
GK Kai Likewise (Rapids U-18 Academy team)
M Jun Marques Davidson (Charlotte, spent time in MLS with Vancouver)

The fact that we have 3 extra keepers in camp makes me wonder if there's a possible GK deal int he works for Berner or (more likely) MacMath.

Rapids Sign Adjei-Boateng From Manchester City

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The long rumored deal to bring Bismarck "Nana" Adjei-Boateng to Colorado is done. Nana was signed using TAM which means he's making DP money and/or his transfer fee puts him in the DP range but his salary cap hit is bought down to standard max salary levels. One report out of Norway has it as a 4 year deal with a team held 5th year option.

Rapids Select Two Forwards In This Afternoon's Part 2 Superdraft

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Rounds 3 and 4 of the Superdraft were held by teleconference this afternoon. The Rapids made two picks, both forwards:

With the first pick of the day by anyone the Rapids took Jaime Siaj out of Pfeffer University. He is believed to be the first player drafted by MLS out of that school. He also apparently spent time in the Real Madrid Academy before college.

Rapids Draft Two, Possibly Add A Free Agent?

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Today was one of the more uneventful drafts in recent MLS history. There were two big moves early with NYCFC and Portland moving up to 3 and 4 respectfully but after that the action settled down and for the most part teams stayed put in the draft or made minor moves. The Rapids stuck with their two picks and #15 and #24, picking up DU midfielder Sam Hamilton and Syracuse left back Liam Callahan.

Homegrowns In, Bravo Out

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Interesting times in Commerce City yesterday as the Rapids add two homegrown players but lose a Technical Director. We'll do this in chronological order. ;)

Yesterday morning there was a press event at the Dick to announce the signings of the 4th and 5th homegrown players in team history, Ricardo Perez and Kortne Ford.

Trade Winds Are Swirling

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The transfer window closes at 11pm MDT tonight (so in just over 3 hours) and until an hour ago I was getting ready to write an article about how we made essentially no moves outside the already planned and announced Tim Howard signing in this window. Then the Twitter rumor mill started up:

First MLS blogger Sam Stejskal:
Fire apparently aren't done.

Two Players Loaned Out

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One official and one unofficial loan announcement in the last day or so:

  • Joseph Greenspan was loaned out to Colorado Springs
The Rapids announcement doesn't mention a length of loan, just that the Rapids retain the right to recall him. The Switchbacks' announcement says its for the season.

Luton Shelton In Camp...Again

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Yesterday the Rapids tweeted that Jamaican striker Luton Shelton was training with the team. This isn't the first time the Rapids have been linked with Shelton, having him in camp at the beginning of last season. He's been bouncing back and forth from his Russian team Volga NN to Colorado apparently since that time, recovering from a serious injury.

Castillo To Be Signed, Finally

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According to the Denver Post the Rapids will finally be signing draftee Dennis Castillo. It sounds like we're just waiting on paperwork from his old club in Costa Rica and that's been the reason for the long delay.

Castillo is a center back/right back out of VCU, drafted in the second round.

Rapids Sign Tim Howard

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The long rumored deal is finally official. As announced live on ESPN this morning Tim Howard is a Rapid and will join the team when the summer transfer window opens. That just happens to be on the 4th of July, which is kind of a big game for the Rapids. One wonders if the Front Office petitioned the USSF and MLS to move it back from July 8th (last year) to July 4th.

Howard Signing In 15 Minutes

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MLS just tweeted that the Rapids will make a player announcement on Sportcenter at 9:20 this morning.

Howard Announced Tomorrow?

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So say former U.S. National Team player Heath Pearce on Twitter:
Been told that @TimHowardGK signing will be announced tomorrow. If true, @ColoradoRapids getting a great leader. #WelcomeBack
This is the Rapids only appearance on ESPN this year so it makes some sense. Along with the TransAmerica renewal signs point to it being likely but we'll see.

Rapids Make A Couple Of Signings

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Me right now
The Rapids started the day filling to their empty roster spots about how I thought they would. They announced they signed draftee GK Chris Froschauer. Then they announced they signed draftee M Emmanuel Appiah.
Then at 5:30 today they dropped the mic. Colorado traded general allocation money and their first round pick next year to new England for Jermaine Jones.

The Rest

A Look at Sporting's Roster and Ahead Towards 2017

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With the season over, most Sporting Kansas City fans have turned their eyes towards 2017 and the hopes of another new season. With that in mind people have been discussing who should be, or will be returning in 2017 and what players are likely on their way out. Yesterday from Sam McDowell we found out that Sporting KC has just eight players currently under contract for the 2017 season.

Philadelphia Union acquire German midfielder Kevin Kratz

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Philadelphia Union signed utility midfielder Kevin Kratz ahead of the MLS roster freeze deadline.