As I started writing this post, this song popped up on my iPod in shuffle mode. It made me really excited to start off another year on the premiere Colorado Rapids blog. That being said the blog has had less turmoil than the Colorado Rapids front office.
Since the season ended in early November, Colorado has lost a coach, a few starters, and, at least in my mind, a lot of credibility. I guess we'll start with the players. Hendry Thomas was the biggest loss for me because when he was in the game the defense had fewer lapses. If he played hockey he would be a great enforcer because he wouldn't have to fight. Just stare at the other team and they would pack up their equipment and go home. Tony Cascio fans please move on. We don't want another Steward Ceus situation on our hands. Jaime Castrillion couldn't break the line-up. Turnover on the roster is expected. I'm excited for the rookies Marlon Hairston and Grant Van De Casteele. Although it will be hard to match the seasons put forth by the Rapids rookies of last year. I think the goal should be to have one Rapids player be in the top two of the rookie of the year award. Newly signed Jose Mari has big shoes to fill in Hendry Thomas' place. The player leadership has some work to do with the rookies because of the head coaching situation.
So for some unexplained reason Oscar Pareja left the club after the first of the year instead of taking the Dallas job soon after the season ended. I'm not privileged with the contract situation but it looks like Pareja wanted to stick it to the Rapids. Why would you wait to take a job like that and lose precious preparation time. Maybe he wanted to use his vacation time up before leaving. The other weird part is how Wilmer Cabrera left to become coach of Chivas USA. Wilmer knew the players. He had a system in place. He presumably had roots here. He left for a not so stable situation. Since he's been gone Chivas has been taken over by the league. A former executive in the league is now in charge. The MLS might know what's going to happen with the team but we the public will not know until a deal is done. Think about going to a job where you don't know where the team will be or who the ownership is in the next 18 months. Or staying in your current job with a stable front office and ownership. How the last several coaches have left is story for a investigative reporter to look into. Nobody will look into KSE until one of the bigger names in sports journalism in this city wants to say something.
The reason why the Rapids have lost credibility is the way the situation has been handled. It's very unconventional to not have a coach going into a season with several months notice. I know there have been a lot of positives that the front office has given us. Season tickets are up. Cooperation with supporters groups has been much better than the last regime. I think it's a regular tendency to worry when someone tells us not to worry. I care about the Rapids winning, not so much as what their jersey looks like. Maybe other fans don't care as much. Unless it's the Denver Broncos people here don't usually support a winner so hopefully Colorado can put that product out on the pitch. Traditionally not having a coach in place at the beginning of a season would be a bad sign. Not conducive to winning. But as a famous sports journalist always says this is just a dusty old cow-town. In a lot of ways it definitely is.