It has been a very quiet off-season for the Colorado Rapids. Other than the big Oscar Pareja kerfuffle, there hasn't been a whole lot of solid news. The only player acquisition that didn't come in through some sort of draft was Marvin Chavez -- certainly not a bad player, but not exactly a coup for a team that lost several pieces this off-season. Colorado finally has keyed in on a new guy for the preseason, Spanish defensive midfielder Jose Mari.
Mari spent the last two seasons with La Liga (later Segunda Division) side Real Zaragoza after spending time with a few other Spainish teams during his younger years. He agreed to a mutual parting of ways with Zaragoza recently and will be joining the Rapids for the preseason tournament in Las Vegas starting today. He could very easily be a replacement for Hendry Thomas, who was a massive piece of the puzzle for the Rapids last year.
Paul Bravo indicated that they were trying to work out a deal in the Rapids press release on the subject:
"José Mari is an accomplished, strong midfielder who is very solid on the defensive side of the ball," said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. "We’re bringing him with the hopes that we can finalize a contract with him. He’ll meet up with the team in Las Vegas on Wednesday, and we look forward to seeing him on the field with the group."
This obviously doesn't mean that a signing is imminent, but it's the closest thing we've had to a big name signing this off-season past the moves that brought in Burch and Chavez, along with a few intriguing but young trialists. Last year, the Rapids brought in Walter Martínez last year in what looked like it would be an intriguing preseason move, but he ended up instead having a very good season for the San Jose Earthquakes. So it might not be time to get excited just yet, but if it happens, Mari could be a very good signing to help boost the profile of this off-season.