Conor Casey, Rapids #9
This offseason, UZ and Ben will give short reviews on the play of all Colorado Rapids players who received a decentamount 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 is our finale, Conor Casey.
Name: Conor Casey
Appearances: 27 (1)
Stats: 13 Goals, 6 Assists
He runs as if his boots were lead, Conor, Conor, he takes the razor to his head, Conor, Conor...
Conor Casey is a fairly polarizing figure in the world of American soccer. Some people think that he should have been on the world cup team that the USA wound up losing to Ghana with after his two goals against Honduras basically got the team into the cup in the first place, others think his skills just aren't condusive with being a USMNT player. His sometimes dirty and foul filled play - who else but Casey would leave the season with the most fouls of any player? - have given rise to an unfortunate idea that he's overrated as well, all brawn and no brains on the pitch. Unfortunately, his fantastic ability is overshadowed by that but anyone who has really watched and dissected Casey during a game can see - he's secretly one of the best players in MLS.
After his 16 goal season last year we expected a bit of a drop-off, but really the only thing that kept his stats lower this year than last year was the amazing upcoming Omar Cummings show taking some of the load off offensively. Casey does not score incredible, highlight reel goals - his most pretty looking one was probably the chip against the Seattle Sounders early in the season - but he is incredibly efficiant at getting the ball past the keeper. To him, it doesn't matter how. His fouls are far too high but his play elsewhere is efficiant as hell, he's even become an assist-maker this year raising his A stat from a single one to six.
Conor's goal in the MLS Cup final was a perfect metaphor for Conor's season. Was it pretty? Probably not. Will it be showing up on ESPN any time soon? Nope. But it was gritty, skilled and won a game for Colorado. People talk about Casey not getting pretty goals, but would Landon Donovan, David Ferreira or even Omar Cummings have scored that goal? I have to say no. Cheers to the best striker in Rapids history.
PLAYER RATING: 9