OK, stop me if you've heard this one: Kevin Harbottle and Tony Cascio walk into a bar, but both get kicked out by Atiba Harris and Edson Buddle.
Not funny, you say? I agree, unfortunately it's what's happening to the Colorado Rapids right now! I'm not going to go as far as to accuse Oscar Pareja of having the Gary Smith-style 'his guys' syndrome yet, but it's pretty clear that he's sticking to a few of his guns for what may be a bit too long, which is leaving a couple of intriguing names by the wayside.
We've already been on the Kevin Harbottle train for some time now, after he scored a hat trick in a reserve game and scored what we've heard was a golazo on a free kick against Santos Laguna. Tony Cascio is another guy who has gone from one of the most out-of-form players on the team to someone heating up after scoring that last-second winner against the Montreal Impact. He scored a brace in a reserves game against the Seattle Sounders last night.
Unfortunately, there's no indication that either are going to see the field any time soon, and they seem to be getting left off by some players who, while veterans, aren't exactly earning their keep. Edson Buddle has been quietly good for the Rapids when he has been healthy, but he seems to be struggling with another of those nagging injuries that have slowed him down recently, and did nothing much of note against Seattle. Atiba Harris did less than nothing against Seattle, and has become pretty well known around these parts for being exactly what you would expect Atiba Harris to be -- a streaky player who will have three bad games for every good one you start him.
It's not as though the goals have come freely from sticking to those guns, either. Against New England, they got their goals from the legendary Owen Goal and
ASS Nick Labrocca. Against Seattle, their best attack was a corner kick that Drew Moor finished off, not a forward. Deshorn Brown being double-teamed all game worked like a charm for Seattle, as his strike partners did absolutely nothing with the extra room they were presented. (Indeed, Harris was ground to dust by Deandre Yedlin all game.)
It's certainly 'Grass is greener' syndrome, but it would still be nice to see substitutes that don't involve guys like German Mera and Anthony Wallace every single time.