I know that the SoccerbyIves.com owner Ives Galarcep's strange dislike of the Colorado Rapids has become something so ingrained in Rapids writers knowledge that it's almost eyes-roll worthy just to mention it at this point. After all, he spent the entire season up to the MLS Cup talking about why the Rapids wouldn't win it and has spent all the time since talking about why they won't win it ever again.... But this is just ridiculous. In his latest mock draft, he chose Michael Farfan as the Rapids' most likely target.
Now, that's not really that bad of a pick all things considered. I still doubt that the Rapids will go for a midfielder with their top pick - especially if he can't also play striker like Ashley McInnes can do - with the pickup of Joesph Nane in the offseason plus promising prospects Davy Armstrong and Ross LaBeaux in the wings. Gary Smith basically coming out and saying he plans to get a striker in the SuperDraft kind of kills that idea as well, but I can't say that it won't happen. Daniel Keat seems to be a popular choice in some drafts as well but I won't be complaining about it. What I take offense to is Ives description of WHY they'll make that pick.
The Rapids won an MLS title, but wouldn't be accused of being loaded with creative players. Enter Farfan, one of the most talented midfielders and best passers in the draft. He could very easily wind up going several spots higher, but in this scenario he slides down to the final pick of the first round.
So basically Ives is not only crapping all over Gary Smith's system of play but saying that he needs to change it because obviously it doesn't work. The Rapids don't USE creative players because their style doesn't work with them. The reason why they got rid of Mehdi Ballouchy is because Mehdi was trying far too hard to be a Barcelona-style TOTAL FOOTBALL player on a team that plays a very strict, defensive 4-4-2 with short, basic passes and an attack running completely through the strikers most of the time. Right before the MLS Cup I called the Rapids style the "Style of Simplicity" and I wasn't kidding. They do very few things but they do them very well.
Jamie Smith isn't a Rapids starter because he's creative on the attack and with his passes, it's because he knows how to provide fantastic service into the box for his strikers to get on the end of. Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz aren't there to destroy opposing defenses with brilliant through balls, they are holding mids meant to steal the ball back and pass it to the wings so they can streak up and provide service into t- I think you get the idea. Where exactly does a creative attacker come into the mix here? Sure, the wingers are asked to score a couple of goals, but Gary Smith would prefer a Wells Thompson type who'll score you four goals over the season while playing good defense on the wing and providing service for his strikers than a guy who will race into the action himself at every opportunity.
Telling the Rapids to basically redraft Mehdi Ballouchy 2.0 isn't exactly what I'd call a smart draft pick unless Gary Smith is expecting to leave pretty soon and give the reins of head coach to a coach who is the polar opposite of himself. Attack based on creativity is a fine tactic and one that works beautifully if you have the players to do it with. Unfortunately, mixing one bit of creativity into your strict defensive squad doesn't make the squad more creative, it just makes a horrible clash. I think BBQ sauce tastes delicious in most situations, but that doesn't mean I should put it in my oatmeal.
I always knew Ives didn't like the team, but I think it's pretty obvious now that he's never even WATCHED them. It takes a lot to make me speechless, but this managed it. Wow.