I have to admit, when it was confirmed that Zat Knight was the rumored international signing the Rapids were after, I was a little disappointed. Aside from being a 34 year old center defender who had been playing in the English 2nd Division since his club crashed out of the Premier League, I had seen Knight play before (albeit seldom) and it wasn't anything to write home about.
Having seen a lot of Zat Knight, I don't think this is a good thing MT @Rapids_News Knight an on-field coach, chatting w/ O'Neill constantly— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) October 5, 2014
After witnessing his Rapids debut in person, however, I am cautiously optimistic of what I saw. First of all, he was much taller than I realized. He looked like a giant on our backline. Granted, that could have been because he replaced Marvell Wynne, not exactly the tallest center back. And, despite Matthew Doyle's tweet above, it was encouraging to see someone step in to shore up the defense. Overall, Knight was an imposing character in the second half. He won headers, towering over others, and even marshaled his old teammate (Clint Dempsey) out of bounds for a goal kick.
Part of my disappointment in Knight's signing was that it seemed like a quick-fix move that wouldn't really pay dividends now or in the future, but that's not what I saw on Sunday. If Knight continues the level of play he showed in his debut, he could prove to be a valuable roster addition, be it in the starting lineup or as a depth player. This, of course, doesn't come close to fixing the innumerable issues the Rapids need to sort out this off-season, but it is a very small step in the right direction.
At the very least, he might be able to lower the Rapids' goal deficit for the final three games. At this point, that's got to be worth something, right?