HONOLULU, HI - FEBRUARY 21: Luis Zapata #32 of the Colorado Rapids works out during a preseason training session on the campus of the University of Hawaii on February 21, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Rapids are preparing for the Hawaiin Islands Invitational Soccer Tournament. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
EDIT: So Anthony Wallace just tore his Achilles Tendon over the weekend. We're blowin' this already!
With only ten days remaining until first kick, Burgundy Wave is going to do a countdown of the ten most important things to watch on the team in 2012 if they want to get themselves a run at their second MLS Cup. Today, we start with number ten.
Except for a brief period of time when Danny Earls was holding down the fort surprisingly well at the start of 2010, the left back position has been a bit of a wash for the Colorado Rapids in the last several years. That's why a fourth round draft pick - which turned into a first round supplemental draft pick because MLS is clownshoes but whatever - was traded to FC Dallas for Anthony Wallace, a talented young former US International at left back who was supposed to shore up the little depth that was there when Earls started going downhill.
It actually worked for a while, too. Wallace took a while to gel with the team but he eventually picked up the game well and played left back at a level that was at the very least passable, which at that point was all we needed. His work in the MLS Cup wasn't great but hey, the kid was only 21 years old. Unfortunately, 2011 brought injuries to Wallace which absolutely destroyed his year.
Drew Moor was forced to play left back through last season thanks to Wallace being out and Scott Palguta being... well, terrible. He was good as he always is, but the center of the pitch is where he belongs and there was a bit of a hole there with Tyrone Marshall taking over the spot almost every single game. Miguel Comminges was brought in late in the year and played decently but it wasn't enough to carry the team and he was immediately let go at the end of the season.
Anthony Wallace won't be back in the lineup for a little while, so the season starts with new signing Luis Zapata manning the left back position. When Wallace comes back, we might have our first solid tandem of left backs for the first time in... well, it's been a while. The two of them are going to need to play well and stay healthy once Wallace comes back so Drew Moor can stay in the middle as usual and keep the defense in the solid state that it was the entirety of 2010.