The Colorado Rapids under Gary Smith ran a very anti-youth system. The kids on the team were shoved into the reserve league and onto the bench as long as possible until the team felt they were ready to contribute. On the whole it worked out well as Omar Cummings, Kosuke Kimura and others spent time learning the ropes, came in and contributed right away.
The Rapids are in an interesting situation though with the new regime, with the first ever two homegrown players in franchise history on the roster in Davy Armstrong and Steven Emory. They both played quite well for the reserve team last season and Armstrong even got a shot at some first team football during the CONCACAF Champions League match against Metapan, but nothing past that. If Smith was still the Rapids manager it would probably be unlikely that we'd see either of them this year either.
This is a new regime and it's being led by Oscar Pareja, a guy who has traditionally loved to work with youth. This certainly means that guys like Tony Cascio and Eddie Ababio will be receiving some time, with Andre Akpan and Ross LaBauex probably recieving even more time than they were last season. Those guys were all highly touted Superdraft picks, though. Armstrong and Emory are guys that nobody but the Rapids have really seen before.
Do you think that Davy and Steven will finally live up to their billings and get some playing time on the first team, or even some bench presence, in 2012?