This was the look on most Rapids fans faces whenever Earls was playing near the end of the season.
This offseason, UZ will give a short review on the play of all Colorado Rapids players who received a decent amount of time on the pitch during the season along with a season grade. Starting with Goalkeepers and then moving up the field as necessary from defenders to forwards, today we'll go with Danny Earls.
Name: Danny Earls
Appearances: 15 (3)
Stats: 5 Shots on goal, 2 yellow cards
I'll go on record as saying I feel somewhat sorry for Danny Earls, all things considered. With the way he started the season and his potential shining through at some points, the way the season ended and the ties to him were somewhat bitterly severed after the season was ended... it just seems wrong that such an enthusiastic young player had to suffer his fate, but he is an archetype of player we see too often in sport and it is an archetype that simply cannot thrive on a team for long, especially a championship team.
At the start of the season, Earls was part of one of the best defenses in MLS. The 21 year old Irishman that was picked up from the Rochester Rhinos by Colorado immediately became the starting left back for the Rapids, filling the biggest question mark spot on the roster and - for the most part - filling it as well as we could have expected for a young guy like that. He looked to be the back of the future with some decent if not solid performances...
...And then the Toronto game happened. In one of the biggest screw ups on the season by a Rapids defender, Earls allowed a horrible goal from a lack of marking in the box against Toronto, and his confidence was shot. Losing his starting spot to Scott Palguta and others, his play the rest of the season was terrible. The old "guy with no confidence" meme struck him and struck him hard.
Earls' hot and cold season may be fixed but combining that with a slight lack of supreme talent I don't see him as a worthy player for the future.
PLAYER RATING: 5.5