In the hallowed pages of sports illustrated this week the lowly mountain time zone got some recognition. Colorado Rapids rookie Dillon Powers was listed as a hot commodity with the Rapids in the midst of a 9 game unbeaten streak. The cover of the issue is a picture of my favorite mess, Mario Balotelli. Balotelli is pictured walking on water with either side of him a list of his accomplishments and detriments. With all the coverage given to a player who was benched in his only appearance in the United States, Sports Illustrated had to throw MLS a bone. Clint Dempsey gets coverage because Landon Donovan is played out in the United States right now. After the All Star snubs for the Rapids for several years and never getting an important national award in the existence of the league any recognition is important. Could Powers actually win the award?
The Rapids are the largest metro area in the league that hasn't won an MVP or Rookie of the Year award. Tampa won twice and nobody even went to watch them play. The top two teams in the league right now are from the mountain time zone. Powers and Co. dominated the midfield against Salt Lake all three times and that was before Vicente Sanchez and Gabriel Torres joined the Rapids. As many chances as Powers and Deshorn Brown created against Salt Lake in the season series they have to be worried about a potential playoff match-up. Powers was the best player on the field for the Rapids in first half of the season and along with Brown made the Rapids respectable until the daily medical report watch wasn't an issue anymore.
But that's also the problem with Powers candidacy for the ROY award. Deshorn Brown. Brown has the speed and highlight reel with his ability to capitalize on mistakes made in the Rapids attacking third of the field. But even with his offsides calls going down he still leads the league in those types of calls against. Powers ability to win in the air and use his size and speed on the ground to get the ball to Brown and now Sanchez and Torres should hopefully make the national media and other coaches and players notice him. The entire team is making people notice and the two stats tha people mention are that other teams have games in hand and that the Rapids are too young to win. With Diego Calderon getting near game ready and the additions of Sanchez and Torres it looks like a good mix of veteran and youth. With the way that coach Oscar Pareja has molded his young players this year it can be said that he has positioned himself as coach for at least next year and hopefully long term. The Rapids have two national TV games remaining. In Portland and home against Seattle. These will be important for the end of season awards campaign for Powers. But then again, I'd rather have another star for the badge next season.