Colorado's big cuts on Friday are essentially giving Oscar Pareja this off-season to complete his vision for the roster. That means that 2013 is going to be make or break for the Rapids, even more-so than it was going to be anyway.
The Colorado Rapids made a statement when they released eight players on Friday, including their all-time leading goalscorer Conor Casey. It was a risky move, to knock out so many players at once. It means that the team is going to need to make six or seven signings over the off-season -- that might be a low estimate, actually -- in order to get the team back to a full roster size. There will probably be more cuts and trades during the off-season as well, knocking the old regimes player count to even fewer than it is now.
What does that mean for the team? It means that they've gone 'all in' with Oscar Pareja. Basically, there is no way back now from what Pareja started to build this year. They can't successfully hope to fire him halfway through next season and salvage anything if they fail, it's going to take another complete rebuild.
The team has put all the cards onto the table in favor of what's going on now, and next season is going to be one of the most vital in Rapids history. If they find success, the risk will have paid off. If they fail as miserably as they did this year, it could set the team back for another three years or so as they'll need to find a new coach and likely build yet another roster from scratch, probably in a much slower fashion than they're going for this time.
It's a risk, and a big one. We can only hope that it works out for the better.