The world has seemed to converge on our lovely state of Colorado, with players emerging from all corners of the Earth, hoping for the chance to showcase their individual abilities for a professional sports team. The puzzle had become complicated during preseason, and pieces were scattered all over the room like a child had gotten hold of them. Slowly, the pieces were picked up and put back together creating the image in which we saw on opening day.
Many of the players that the Rapids have brought in are play-makers and placing them on the field at once can often prove difficult in playing as one team on the pitch. Imagine many beautiful paintings of many different styles all combined onto one canvas. It would be a mess. The idea that many pieces of such beauty all mixed to create one perfect image is a concept the Rapids were hoping for. The Rapids need to realize, that placing these images next to each other, as in a gallery, rather than melding them into one image, and letting their individual beauty create one wondrous effect could vault the Rapids into playoff contention. The talent that we see displayed before us every Saturday could be truly magnificent if the above suggestion was taken seriously. I truly do believe the Rapids have the pieces to create a remarkable spectacle on the pitch, if they can work as one.
I've noticed that there are times when the Rapids are functioning on all cylinders and it is a brilliant thing. An art form at its finest, if you will. But, unfortunately, much of the time, it seems to be a broken system. Players have been played outside of their optimal position. Players like Kevin Harbottle playing as central attacking midfielder rather than on the striking wing where he has been much more effective.
Injury has obliterated this team. This is a cloud that has loomed over Commerce City for that last several seasons. Martin Rivero, Edson Buddle, Diego Calderon, and Matt Pickens are or have been out for extended periods of time. So, not only are the cogs of the team not working together during the entire length of a match, but are also missing some of the major gears that make this team run. I have stated over and over again that Martin Rivero, arguably the mainstay of the team is the central cog on which this team runs. He is nearing his return and will be a welcome sight to any Rapids fan.
Let us ignore all of which has happened, and imagine a fully healthy team that has built an iron-like cohesion with one another. The talent of this young team far surpasses many of others around the MLS. Assuming that the Rapids stick with their original plan, displaying the 4-3-3, I would think that it would look something like this: Harbottle, Buddle, and Brown up top; Powers, Rivero, and Thomas in the mid (sorry Pablo), Mullan, Calderon, Moor, and Wynne in the back, all with much depth behind for subs. Now, imagine that they know each others tendencies and work as one. I'll leave it to the eye of the beholder to imagine such a sight.
I hope, one day, we can see all of these pieces on the same chess board, and hope that it is accompanied by a terrifying ferocity for wins.