There's a very good chance that Marvin Chavez, the newest Rapids signing, won't do a whole lot in 2014. His 2013 season was an immensely disappointing one, as he only put together a single goal and a single assist in 15 appearances. Despite that, I was very happy when the Rapids acquired him for Atiba Harris yesterday. That's not because of any remaining disappointment I had at seeing Atiba pick up 2,000 minutes for the Rapids last year, but because it makes complete sense for the Rapids to try and get a guy with a bigger boom potential, even if a bigger bust potential comes with it.
I'll explain. Right from the moment the Rapids picked up Harris in 2013, we knew the kind of season he would have. Harris is a known commodity and he's nothing if not consistent. Four goals and a couple of assists is his average year. Last year he way overshot expectations, by scoring five goals. Colorado was a team in flux when they picked him up; they were just looking for anyone that could play even a mediocre MLS game, and Harris fit that mold.
This team is different going into 2014. Now, they're a team that know they can win, but a team that are in desperate need of difference-makers. They scored some goals last year, but not enough. Past Deshorn Brown and the Sanchez-Torres pairing at the end of the year, there wasn't much spark on offense from the team. You could rattle off plenty of names of guys who probably should have done better, but didn't. (Edson Buddle, Danny Mwanga, Tony Cascio and Harris are the first four to come to mind.)
Atiba Harris is not a difference maker, and we know that. Everyone knows that. Marvin Chavez has the potential to be one. He had 13 assists in 2012, and helped to make the Wondolowski-Lenhart-Gordon triplicate into a monster that year. He was good with FC Dallas, though not amazing like he was in 2012. Still, the potential for a difference-maker is there. If the Rapids brought Atiba into 2014, he would score 3-5 goals, have 2-4 assists, and be done with it. With Chavez, there's a chance he doesn't even hit that plateau, but there's also a chance that he shines. I'd much rather have the latter than the former.