This past weekend there was supposedly a game at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. In this game the Rapids coach planned to display some of the talent that had been over looked and received little playing time this season. And for one of the only times this season I agreed with Oscar Pareja and his outlook for the final 3 games of the season; especially since we are now officially out of the playoff hunt.
The first young talent that hasn't seen much time this year that we got to see was Andre Akpan. Now if you look at the final stats you would think that Akpan did some stuff that was actually good. However, you would be wrong. Yes he was able to draw a penalty in the 90th minute and then scored on the PK, but he looked lazy, uninspired and invisible for the majority of the rest of the game.
I am officially done with Akpan. This year he has appeared in 14 games (for a total of 415 minutes). In those games he has accumulated 8 shots; getting just 4 of those on goal, and scoring on just 2 with 1 being a PK. The biggest problem that the Rapids have had this season is the ability to finish, and with these numbers Akpan is just not hacking it.
The next two players that we saw, while young, we have seen plenty of this season. Tony Cascio and Kamani Hill came in at the start of the second half. These two players are in their rookie campaign in the MLS and with the Rapids. In nearly the same amount of playing time as Akpan; Hill has been able to grab 1 more goal, 2 more assists, 4 more shots, and 1 more shot on goal. While still not great numbers when you look at it as Hill's first year compared to Akpan's third the numbers show a lot more I believe.
Tony Cascio has a lot bigger numbers than both Hill and Akpan. While he still has not shown he can finish (he is a midfielder not a striker after all), the thing that I like about him most is that he is not afraid to take a shot. In his 27 games Cascio has taken 51 shots with 18 of those being on goal. Thats nearly 2 shots per game with just under 1 on goal per game.
Both Hill and Cascio are for sure here next year, Akpan and the last young talent probably won't be.
Steward Ceus got his first minutes of MLS play in Saturday's game. In his 21 minutes Saturday Ceus gave up an easy goal to one of the best teams in the MLS. We haven't had much chance to see Ceus play in his 4 years with the Rapids. The only playing time he has seen has been in Concacaf and Open Cup games. While he has played relatively well in his couple of appearances, I think his time with the Rapids has come to an end. 4 years in and just now getting time in net? There has to be some reason that he hasn't seen time (especially in blow outs).
According to Oscar Pareja we will get to see more of the young guys on the team in the next couple of games. What players do you want to see? What do you think of the young guys we saw in the San Jose game?