Wherein we never shut up about why the Rapids should sign Michael Boxall

VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 23: Michael Boxall #2 of the Vancouver Whitecaps tries to break away from Fabian Castillo #15 of FC Dallas during the first half of MLS Soccer on April 23, 2011 at Empire Field in Vancouver, BC, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

There are roster spots and there is some extra money on the Colorado Rapids since their release of Quincy Amarikwa, Ross LaBauex and Eddie Ababio. They'll have an international slot too as soon as Jamie Smith gets that pesky green card. The transfer window has finally opened to sign players.

I think you know where I'm going with this.

I've talked about how much I like Michael Boxall enough, but I still maintain that he should be the top target for the Rapids now that the transfer window is open. He's young and physical, a guy who would fill a player archetype we've missed since Julien Baudet left.

It's not like it's just me that thinks he could be a useful future piece for the Rapids, either. I see him as a player that still needs to grow quite a bit but has shown plenty of talent at the top level -- this was written about him by the network's Whitecaps blog, 86 Forever:

A big, tough centre back who proved an utterly dominant aerial force pretty much the second he arrived in MLS, Boxall came into Vancouver without expectations. We grabbed him in the supplemental draft and, his rookie season, he grabbed 1,616 minutes. He now has five senior caps for New Zealand, which is five more international appearances for a World Cup-level team than most waived Whitecaps ever manage.

Of course Boxall had his weaknesses. His foot speed was never the greatest and he didn't show the improvement I'd have hoped for in reading the game at MLS speed. If I may speak quite frankly about a player I still like, he also didn't exactly force his way into the first team when I saw him playing lower-level matches. But who can doubt that Boxall has professional-level talent; he proved that plenty of times last season.

Sounds about right to me. Young but in need of good teaching when it comes to the game, which just happens to be what Oscar Pareja does best with young players. Also, he's better than Scott Palguta and Tyrone Marshall, did we mention that yet?

Who is your favorite transfer target for the Rapids this summer? Let us know in the comments.

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