The Daily Wave is a slice of opinion from a Burgundy Wave contributor, released every weekday morning.
The art of footwork is one that has been perfected by the young Martin Rivero. Like watching a painter create an image with something as simple as swiping a brush across a canvas that evolves into a wondrous marvel and instills awe into the eye of the beholder, Rivero truly paints the game into something beautiful. When he touches the ball, we fans never know what amazing feat he is about to create and conquer.
Unfortunately, we have not had the pleasure of seeing Rivero at work in the 2013 season. Again, the Rapids have been plagued by injury and one way they could counter that is in the feet of Rivero. We await his return with anticipation. A threat on the field, one that has to be accounted for would pull pressure off of Brown and his fellow attackers, and with Buddle's return on the near horizon (hopefully), Rivero's return could account for an obliterated defense.
As we look at the players on the pitch, they are still getting used to players and positions. The return of Rivero may be one of the most important re-emergences for the Rapids in quite some time. He will bring an extra complication for defenses that opponents haven't had to account for in the 2013 season. His ability to create space and visualize the play on the field from more angles than any other player on the pitch in unmatched. He can create for others freeing them to move off of the ball while he handles traffic and pulls defenders off of others.
The other aspect of his game is freeing not only strikers to move toward net, but free midfielders to stretch the field. Players like Dillon Powers can truly play a box to box position rather than having to rush to the ball. Powers would then be able to play a more defensive midfield role with Pablo Mastroeni not playing as his old self, and the loss of Diego Calderon to injury. The role of CAM has not been solidified with Kevin Harbottle being inconsistent in the particular position and no other player possessing the skillset that those two players have. Harbottle would be sent back to wing in the striker position, which I believe he would be much more effective as, especially with Rivero creating in the center of the field. He would be much more effective from the edge making defenders account for several areas of the field.
I apologize for spilling thoughts into the article, but so many problems could all be solved at once with the return of one play maker. The Rapids attack has been threatening thus far, but could be so much more potent with Rivero digging into the pitch once again, relieving pressure off of both strikers and defenders. He commands the field, and commands defenders to move to him and away from others. The entire game will change once we see the magnificent Rivero return to the field.