Last week I began to think about what Colorado Rapids need to do in the goalkeeper department. With Matt Pickens likely on his way out and Steward Ceus not showing that he is a capable starter (at this point), it brings the sticky subject as to who will back-up starter Clint Irwin. If you assume that Pickens is gone and Ceus is the number 3, who do you bring in as a number 2?
A couple of scenarios could come into play this off-season:
- The Rapids could look at drafting a goalkeeper in the Superdraft. That may be easiest to do, but using a draft pick on such a position belies some of the other needs that the Rapids have (specifically right back and help up front).
- The Rapids could go overseas and try and grab a keeper from Europe or go down south and use the connections in South America that they have built.
- The Rapids could trade or sign an established keeper in MLS.
When I look at those three options, quite honestly, #3 makes the most sense to me. I think there are larger issues that can be addressed in the draft (instead of drafting a goalkeeper) and that thinking is similar when I look at bringing in someone new into the league. I believe that there is enough talent in MLS to pull a #2 from another club.
So who then? Do you go after a younger guy? Or a more seasoned veteran towards the end of his career? For me the choice is easy-go and grab a older guy who is experienced and is willing to be the #2 behind Irwin. This can benefit in two ways:
- Irwin could be in line to start at least 35 games (34 MLS regular season and 1 US Open Cup) in 2014. That is a lot of games and having someone being able to jump in and make the quality starts when necessary is what you want from a #2. And an experienced keeper is going to give you that. And an experienced keeper is not necessarily going to want to unseat Irwin.
- An experienced keeper can act as a mentor to both Irwin and Ceus and aid in their growth.
When I look around the league a couple of players come to mind, but the one I think about (and I do not know if he wants to leave his current situation) is Marcus Hahnemann. He is a Rapids legend and led the team to its first ever MLS Cup Championship game. Now, does he want to leave Seattle? Unknown. You could probably make a relatively cost effective trade with his current club to get him in Burgundy to finish out his career.
Will it happen? No clue, but it is sure fun to speculate.