2011 Player Rating and Review: Sanna Nyassi

COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 20: Sanna Nyassi #23 of the Colorado Rapids controls the ball as he scores in the second minute against the New York Red Bulls at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 20, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

This offseason, the Burgundy Wave staff will give short reviews on the play of all Colorado Rapids players who received a decent amount 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 we'll feature Sanna Nyassi.

Name: Sanna Nyassi
Number: 23
Appearances: 26 (9)
Stats: 5 Goals, 5 assists
Sannaaaaa Nyassi Sannaaaaa Nyassi Sannaaaaa Nyassi Nyyaassiiiii

Sanna Nyassi was a strange story for the Rapids in 2011. He was brought on by Gary Smith out of Seattle during the offseason to bring a boost to the offense from a mostly defense-oriented midfield, an idea that was good in theory at least thanks to the inability of seemingly anyone to score goals last year, but not as good an idea in execution.

Nyassi led the team in both shots and shots on goal, but anyone who watched his play - especially for the first half of the season - will know that the majority of those shots were less than impressive. He seemed to have an unfortunate need to get an open shot far too often, dribbling for long periods trying to get around defenders only to turn it over when a 22 yard shot would often have been the better option. That left a bad taste in our mouths regarding Nyassi until a game against the New York Red Bulls later in the year as Gary Smith got the idea to put Nyassi up at striker.

Well, that worked great, Nyassi being forward more often than not instead of needing to go backwards - his defending on the wing was awful, by the way - left him wide open to put more of those shots on frame instead of wide by miles and he went on a goalscoring tear alongside Omar Cummings for a few games. It was short lived, but a nice little shot in the arm for that short period of time.

Past his nice little run at the end of the year when he got the hat trick, provided some assists and scored some nice ones against Philadelphia and Toronto, the bad of Nyassi unfortunately outweighed the good. It's a shame that he won't be able to stick around, it would be interesting to see how he would do in a purely offense based system like Oscar Pareja is trying to run.


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