The Vicente Sanchez signing is a pretty easy one to parse. Oscar Pareja is bringing in a veteran presence to add to the somewhat offensively sputtering youth-filled team. The team wasn't completely lacking in veteran experience, but Atiba Harris has been ineffective and Edson Buddle has been out of fitness for the entire season.
So, being a veteran attacking signing with a decent amount of pedigree, we've heard two former Rapids players getting called up as comparisons. Neither of them are particularly fine comparisons though: Claudio Lopez and Edu.
Lopez was brought in after a few seasons as a half-decent Designated Player for the Kansas City Wizards and was rarely utilized by Gary Smith, partially because Smith never seemed to know exactly how to use him. He ended up getting only about 200 minutes of time in his final season, scoring a penalty kick against the Columbus Crew during their run to the MLS Cup. Obviously, Sanchez will be getting more than 200 minutes if he's healthy and ready to play, so I don't think the Lopez comparison works.
Edu is another guy who had a good pedigree in his past, but couldn't do all that much with the Rapids. Edu never seemed to care after his signing came out of the blue, and he seemed to get brought in as a prospective starter but quickly played himself out of the spot. We're really just hoping that he's not going to be like Edu, because that would be awful.
I'm going to take a slightly different tact with my idea of who Vicente Sanchez reminds me of: Crystal Palace's veteran striker, Super Kevin Phillips. (The 'Super' is his secret given name, trust me.)
I don't think Sanchez will be an everyday starter with the Rapids. He's a bit too old to be playing 90 minutes every match. However, his finishing and ability to get in good positions and connect with his fellow attackers are still as sharp as ever, even if the old age has sapped his ability to run like he used to. He's certainly not as good as the 80-year-old wonder that is Phillips, but it's the exact same idea.
Phillips came to Palace last year as they were sorely lacking in good goal scorers and veteran calmness on the field to calm down the likes of Wilfred Zaha and Yannick Bolasie. He didn't get a huge number of minutes, but he made the absolute most of the minutes that he got and ended up scoring an unbelievably perfect penalty to score promotion for the Eagles.
That's what I see Sanchez doing for the Rapids. He'll be the veteran calmness playing 30 minutes a game as the first man off the bench. He'll be the guy coming on when everyone else is spastic with their finishing and positioning and provide the famous ability he's always had to help glue the offense together, hopefully with a good handful of goals in the end.
And if he can score the winning goal and help the Rapids lift a big, shiny trophy in the end, all the better.