The roster for the upcoming Open Cup match between the Colorado Rapids and Tampa Bay Rowdies was released yesterday, and it's not looking all that bad. Under Gary Smith, the Rapids suffered from immense lack of depth and so when he played his backups against the Chicago Fire in the first knockout qualifying round the roster was loaded with guys like Davy Armstrong and Steven Emory, guys who never came close to sniffing the first team again.
This time around under Oscar Pareja, the depth has been completely rebuilt, to the point where Emory has been cut and Armstrong didn't make the 18 despite a highly injured Rapids side going into this match. In fact, 12 of the players on that roster played on Saturday are going with the team to Tampa.
One name that is surprisingly not on there is Jamie Smith's, Smith has been working to health lately and got over 60 minutes in a reserve match, earning an assist. He was expected to get his first real first team minutes this season with the Open Cup squad.
Goalkeepers: Stew Ceus, Ian Joyce
Defenders: Drew Moor, Tyrone Marshall, Hunter Freeman, Kosuke Kimura, Luis Zapata, Eddie Ababio, Scott Palguta
Midfielders: Jaime Castrillon, Martin Rivero, Wells Thompson, Kamani Hill, Harrison Henao, Joseph Nane
Forwards: Edu, Andre Akpan, Tony Cascio
Not bad at all, I can't complain about a forward pairing containing those three -- assuming of course they don't go for the 4-3-3 again -- and there's plenty of midfielders and defenders there that are top MLS quality. After the past few years going into the Open Cup assuming an immediate loss, excepting that miracle win in 2010 that featured a Wells Thompson brace, we might just be in for a treat in the Rapids first Open Cup match in the tournament proper since 2007.