What Oscar Pareja and the Rapids accomplished in 2013 was nothing short of incredible. In a year touted as a complete rebuild, Colorado lost half--scratch that, more than half--of their starting line-up to injuries within the first month of the season. What they ended up with was 51 points, more than any other Rapid team in history, and did so with a starting XI with an average age around 25 years old. Like I said…incredible.
With such a promising future ahead of them, the "Rapkids" were mainly looking for one thing this offseason. Continuity. What they got instead was a rather messy resignation from manager Pareja, while losing one of their main midfield cogs in Hendry Thomas. Not exactly ideal. As preseason wraps up and with the season opener on the horizon, Rapids fans were expecting to feel a sense of comfort. Instead, there is an overwhelming cloud of unease. But a look at what the Rapids gained this offseason paints a slightly prettier picture.
They rid themselves of Atiba Harris, a poor finisher and on-field liability, in return for Marvin Chavez who, at his best, is a potential MVP candidate. Ever heard anyone say that about Harris? Didn’t think so. They have brought in Jose Mari to fill the gaping vortex left by Thomas (tough shoes to fill) and added depth in the back with a solid player in Marc Burch. And while 2014’s draftees will certainly not match the achievements of last year’s, each seems to have a promising base upon which to build. Oh and Dillon Serna? Just nasty.
If this Rapids offseason had a title, it would be "500 Days of Winter." It’s been long and fans will feel strung along by Oscar, only to realize what they had already known: his heart lies in Texas. However, the Rapids certainly look no worse on paper than in 2013, and might even look a little better. Let’s just hope Pablo is the "Spring" the Rapids are searching for.