COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 9: Kosuke Kimura #27 of the Colorado Rapids applauds his appreciation to the fans as he walks off the field following the Rapids 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 9, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
This offseason, the Burgundy Wave staff will give short reviews 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 feature Kosuke Kimura.
Name: Kosuke Kimura
Appearances: 34 (34)
Stats: 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Kooooosuke Kimura, Koooosuke Kimura, Koooosuke Kimura, Rapids right full back, Kosuke Power!
There's a reason that we were all concerned when Kosuke Kimura was left unprotected in the Montreal Impact expansion draft. He was one of the best players on the field for the Rapids this season and was one of the few players who was able to beat the ever prevalent injury bug that cursed the team for so long during the season. In his fifth year of action in Major League Soccer, it became clear that he was indeed the great player that we've been watching grow since 2007.
Kosuke started on the first day of the season against the Portland Timbers and didn't let up for a minute afterwards, despite getting beat up as he tends to do by the larger players in the league. The number of tumbles that Kosuke took during the season was innumerable, but the number of times he didn't get up from them can be counted on one hand. Kosuke has a toughness that is required to play in Major League Soccer and takes it to another level.
Kosuke's goal against the New England Revolution from about 70 yards out was one of my favorite highlights on the season, and his always steady defensive work made sure that Eddie Ababio wasn't going to need to get called up any time soon. In a very down year for the Rapids, Kimura was one of the few names that we could pencil in each and every game.
Until he suffered a broken foot against Sporting Kansas City he looked like he was liable to have a decent playoffs as well after providing a fantastic assist to Omar Cummings in the Rapids' lone postseason match against the Columbus Crew. The goals and the defensive mettle would stop as the injury glut grew in the SKC match, unfortunately. Now we'll just have to wait until next season to see if Kosuke can continue his steady growth into 2012.
PLAYER RATING: 8