Conor Casey has been a non-factor for the Rapids for most of the season, almost entirely because of a hamstring injury that kept him quiet in his first few matches and then sidelined him for over a month between DC United matches. However, his lack of play while healing up even when somewhat match fit appears to have worked in his favor as only getting his fourth start of the season against Sporting Kansas City he looked more like the Conor Casey that we know and love than he had since... well, the home opener against Portland.
Casey has never been known as a fast player - he does 'run as if his boots were lead' after all - but he had surprising hustle and had his famous anticipation back yesterday, scoring a goal on an errant backpass that Conor was sniffing out from the beginning. He also very nearly got an assist after making a brilliant steal and pass to a wide open Jeff Larentowicz, which was only inches from the net off of Jeff's foot.
Casey's best assets have always been his strength, ability to settle, anticipation and surprisingly good footwork on the ball as well as a both powerful and moderately if not completely consistently accurate shot. We saw all of these things from him on Saturday and it's quite frankly an exciting development for a Rapids team that has had inconsistency in the striker position all season, mostly due to injury and new pairings of players being thrown out weekly. Conor has the chance to be, as always, the key to solving the problem with striker consistency especially during the Summer, when the Rapids are historically at their worst.
Since we may not see Omar Cummings again until July since he's still injured and is getting sent out to the Gold Cup, Casey needs a renaissance after his slow start. If he can find it, the Rapids have a very good chance of getting out of June with 8 at least out of 12 points.