With the Colorado Rapids on yet another streak this year; its time we look forward. Not just to the end of this year but to next year and beyond. It has been talked about a lot in the last couple of weeks about how the Rapids have some of the best young talent in all of Major League Soccer. Chris Klute has been called, by some, the best Left Back in America right now. Even in a game where he was pretty much shut down offensively, he made huge plays defensively, and showed way he has people calling for him to get a look from Jurgen Klinsman.
Chris Klute isn't the only player getting lots of media attention however. Dillon Powers has been written about a lot in the last couple weeks as one of the front runners for MLS Rookie of the Year. With everything that he has brought to the team, especially his presence in the midfield, Dillon has truly made an impact that should only grow as the season continues and the Rapids go into the next few years. Along with fellow rookie Deshorn Brown, who is tied for the team lead in goals; they make up an impressive duo that the Rapids will be counting on.
Lets also not forget Clint Irwin, who has stepped in fantastically, when most people would never have imagined at the beginning of the year that he would ever see the pitch. What about Shane O'neill? The Rapids are STILL unbeaten when he has started a game. The team is currently 6-0-4 has started, and have only given up 7 total goals when he is on the pitch.
The Rapids starting line-up the last few games has an average age of 25. One of the youngest teams in MLS right now. If the Rapids can keep this young nucleus together, there is potential for a long run of top contention in Major League Soccer. There is a lot of young talent on the bench as well. With Martin Rivero coming back from injury, Kevin Harbottle working hard to get playing time, Tony Cascio and Kamani Hill trying to find their grove so that they can show what they can do the Rapids future is looking up.
And, while he may not be young in terms of age, Oscar Pareja is young in terms of head coaching experience. Pareja has done a lot with what he was given so far in his tenure with the Rapids. Last year he was given a veteran squad that was just a year removed from a MLS Cup. This year he has a team that has dealt with an almost complete dismantling, multiple injuries, and youth. As Pareja gets more and more comfortable with what he can do coaching, we are likely to see better results, results like we have seen recently.