The Best Fullback Tandem In MLS? It's A Fabian Johnson Away For Colorado

Gary Bogdon

Colorado could have one of the best fullback tandems in the history of MLS if they make a shrewd move for Fabian Johnson. Unlikely? Of course. But who cares?

On occasion, we have to throw out a ridiculous idea around here. Sure, we get our fill of Humberto Suazo fake-rumor-posting all the time, but it's pretty clear that (much to my chagrin) he's never going to come to MLS at the rate his career is going. So how about we take a cue from Matt Doyle and talk about a different guy who might cast a glance toward MLS once his contract is up?

Why not? Colorado could end up with the best fullback tandem in MLS by the end of June if they pick up potential World Cup starter Johnson.

Right back was probably the biggest need for the Rapids going into the off-season, and surprisingly it's also the only position they've really done nothing concrete about. They added another wide striker to the mix in Marvin Chavez. On defense, they've brought in Marc Burch along with Grant van de Casteele. Both the attacking and defensive midfields were bolstered in the draft as well after Marlon Hairston and Jared Watts were picked up. But not much happened at right back.

It's arguable that the right back issue was a bit overblown, but it's hard to deny that the Rapids could use a big name at the spot considering the muddled group they have there at the moment. Marvell Wynne is still not an awful starter at right back, even though his star has faded since Gary Smith headed for pastures more brown than green. Shane O'Neill can play the spot, but his talents are probably best served in the center of the park, whether it be in defense or midfield. Brian Mullan had a... decent run out last season at right back, but he showed pretty quickly that he lacked the pace to be an everyday starter at the position -- and come on, it really doesn't take that much pace to be a right back.

"But wait, Johnson usually plays left back! We already have a great left back, Chris Klute!" This is true, but Fabian Johnson would actually add a special little wrinkle to the mix with the Rapids. Adding Johnson to the fullback corps would not only give the Rapids two very good backs, but would also give them two guys who are both very proficient at playing on the left side despite being naturally right footed. One could easily play on either side. Hell, mix them up, confuse the opposition. It's like a confusing sweep play with movement in gridiron football!

This signing's chance of happening is probably somewhere around .05%, but it would be an instant boost to Colorado's chances, would give them a new tactical wrinkle to use against opponents and would perhaps give the Rapids the best fullback tandem in MLS history if all went well. Hopefully they at least think about it when Johnson's contract is up in June. We might not be able to attract the Bradleys and Dempseys of the world, but maybe a Johnson wouldn't be out of our reach.

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