I've found myself wondering, oftentimes, what the Rapids could and should be, especially this season. I toy with ideas in my own head, as I pretend to be an idealist of what the identity of our team might look like with a small change in personnel. Other teams around the league have begun playing a chess match as they move pieces around, bringing them over land and sea to improve upon a team in a league that has been, for the most part, insignificant in the FIFA world. We are content to sit in our mountain high fortress and watch these other kingdoms grow in personnel and fans, many of which are surpassing us for league domination.
I like to speculate, which is what I am about to do. To speculate what we might be like if we joined that game of chess and began bringing our own signings to our humble city of Denver. Remember the Kansas City Wiz? Now reimagined, restructured, and reformed and are now sitting atop the eastern table, and comfortably I might add. The New York Red Bulls, brought in the likes of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill among others. Granted, they haven't put it together yet, but they will, and are still about to make playoffs. The Los Angeles Galaxy are the oldest of contenders in the trading game. Their biggest of note, obviously being David Beckham. He may not play every minute anymore, and most positively cannot play the way he used to, but his mere presence on the pitch invigorates not only players, but the fans in the stands as well. These teams understand that they need to spend money to make money, especially in a country where soccer falls to the middle, if not lower tier of the sports world, while our wallet sits comfortably in our back pocket.
I mentioned speculation, so here we go. What would it be like if the Rapids were to bring a player that can make an impact not just with his play, but simply, his name? What position would that be? Who would it be? I am not suggesting we should go after a Wayne Rooney, a Robin van Persie, or even a Demba Ba. I am not even suggesting we go after an aging player like Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben, or Francesco Totti. In fact, I'm not even suggesting we go after anyone. Again, I am only speculating to what the idea might do to a team who seems to have fallen quite a few rungs of the MLS ladder as other teams climb from the depths of said ladder's basement.
I am going to suggest one player for each position, save for goalkeeper, because I think Matt Pickens does good enough work to make it anywhere. This is the fun part, and I hope you'll join me in the comments section. I will be sticking with EPL players because of familiarity purposes. Starting with striker, I would sign Nikica Jelavic from Everton FC. His presence in the box is unmatched by almost anyone throughout the league. He finds himself in the right position at all times, and uses his size to get there. He has a nose for crosses, and has one of the best redirecting headers I've seen in a long time. In the midfield, I would go after Mikael Arteta. The Arsenal Gunner is truly a gunner. He has a spectacular cross both on the run and from the corner. This is something that our Colorado Rapids are one, either terrified to do for fear of losing the ball, or two, cannot do well. We've signed Hendry Thomas as our defensive midfielder, and our wings all play like CAMs. And in the backfield, I would sign Maynor Figueroa out of Wigan Athletic. A quick and good sized defender that would join his former teammate Hendry Thomas creating an almost instantaneous repertoire in the backfield.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to sign Didier Drogba, simply for his name. That would draw hundreds to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, just to see him stand on the pitch. I simply spoke in the above paragraph about more realistic, however unlikely signings. My point is, many other teams have begun to open their pocketbooks and started to improve their team from both a pitch standpoint, as well as a, well, stand standpoint. It can't be that long before Kroenke is forced to the same..... can it?
Who would you sign? And why?