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2013 Rapids through the eyes of a defensive minded fan will be a struggle, but next year should be different!
The 2013 version of our beloved Colorado Rapids started off with a dud on Saturday, losing to FC Dallas on a botched play by backup goalie Steward Ceus. However, the off-season brought a lot of promise to our boys in burgundy. The Rapids cut a lot of older players with big contracts in favor of getting younger at nearly every position. Forward and Midfield where the main focus of the Rapids this off-season, bringing in Edson Buddle to bring some veteran leadership and a scoring presence at the top of the formation, and drafting young talent in Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers to add speed and aggressiveness to the core of the team.
While I am sure most of you reading this have heard me say or read my tweets about the lack of focus the Rapids had on Defense this off-season; I was pleasantly surprised by how they looked in the first game. Diego Calderon was the Rapids biggest defensive acquisition, but moving veteran Brian Mullan to the back will give an attacking mind to the Rapids back four. This attacking presence the Rapids will now have can be a good thing especially if Calderon is able to stay back and cover for Mullan and Marvell Wynne moving up the wings, but if could also lead to what was the Rapids biggest downfall the last few years in giving up goals on quick counter-attacks.
While the Rapids have a lot of promise in 2013, it will take a lot of quick maturation by their new young talent, and a lot of veteran leadership from returning Pablo Mastroeni and Rapids ironman Drew Moor. I look for the Rapids to contend for a playoff position, but ultimately fail. This rebuild that the Rapids have undertaken will take some getting used to for fans, but hopefully in 2014 it will all come together and we will see that pretty attacking soccer that we have been promised from this group.