Who were we expecting to be the most intriguing trialist for the Rapids going into the Desert Friendlies in Arizona?
Perhaps it was Kory Kindle, who despite being the second-round pick by the Rapids has still not been signed to a contract. Maybe we thought Jamie Smith would show up and play his best ball ever so he could try to earn a job. Walter Martinez was an intriguing character as well, coming off of World Cup appearances to join with his country-man, Hendry Thomas.
I'm fairly sure that nobody would have said 'Jimmy Maurer' when asked that question. Hell, I'm pretty sure nobody knew who Jimmy Maurer was prior to the game against the Portland Timbers on Tuesday.
Well, we know who he is now!
Maurer had, without a doubt, the most eye-opening performance of anyone the Rapids sent out on Tuesday. His string of saves in the second half on some not-too-shabby Portland chances was fantastic, and the Rapids probably would have lost 4-1 or 5-1 if not for his heroics. He did allow two goals, but it's hard to put any semblance of blame on him for either of them. (Honestly, both goals were hard to put on anyone, they were just incredibly well taken strikes.)
So who is this guy, who suddenly looks like he has the inside track to the third goalie job behind Matt Pickens and Steward Ceus?
Maurer has played a grand total of zero minutes in Major League Soccer, but he was on the New York Red Bulls for a short amount of time following his selection in the 2011 Supplemental Draft. He spent time with the Atlanta Silverbacks (a team that the Rapids seem to enjoy getting former talent from recently!) and was most recently in the second level of the Chilean league with Club Deportivo Universidad de Concepción, where he only received one appearance.
Certainly not the most impressive resume in the world, but that's not what we're interested in from the 24-year-old. We're interested in a guy who can stick as the third keeper and perhaps be a growth prospect for the future if he sticks around for seven or eight years. Ian Joyce didn't fit that bill, as he hit his ceiling quickly and never really managed to push Steward Ceus.
After that performance against Portland, Maurer could be that young guy with potential that the Rapids are seeking. If he's only getting the one game audition, he certainly couldn't have done much better.