With the type of season that the Colorado Rapids had in 2014 you had to know that there would be some changes to the squad going into this off-season. The first major announcement was the addition of Caleb Calvert from the Chivas USA dispersal draft and today it was announced that 11 players did not have their option picked up. It is important to note that this does not mean those players will not be in Burgundy in 2015, just not at their current contract level/price.
The eleven did not have their options picked up are: Edson Buddle, Marvell Wynne, Nick LaBrocca, Gale Agbossoumonde, Thomas Piermayr, Grant Van De Casteele, Carlos Alvarez, Davy Armstrong, Kamani Hill, Danny Mwanga and Joe Nasco.
For the most part, I tend to agree with these decisions. Please see the table below comparing production and salary:
|GP||GS||G||A||2014 Guaranteed Compensation|
|Grant Van De Casteele||1||0||0||0||$60,000|
GP: Games Played. GS: Games Started. G: Goals. A: Assists
I think there are three tiers of players on this list: can't see them coming back, might be back, and the special cases.
Can't See Them Coming Back
For players like Agbossoumonde, Van De Casteele, Armstrong, Mwanga, and Nasco I totally get the decision. They were bit players (at best) and for Mwanga, he made way too much in 2014 to justify that salary hit for that level of production. I think there is a slight possibility of seeing Armstrong back in camp in 2015, but I think these guys are probably played their last game in Burgundy. Nasco played well enough to justify a shot at a starting role, but that will be tough with the Rapids.
Might Be Back
I think there might be a place for Kamani Hill and Thomas Piermayr. Both played well enough to justify a place on the roster, but they appear to be more depth than starters. I am not sure if they are OK with being depth players, and both showed some flashes this year, but I think it is more likely that they will probably move on.
The Special Cases
Edson Buddle--Buddle should not be back in Burgundy. I was never impressed with his passion for playing in Colorado and I really feel like he never wanted to be here. And at his salary, and his age (33) I think he has to be gone.
Marvell Wynne--Wynne is one of the last links to the 2010 Championship team and inspires passion, both good and bad, from supporters. He has always been known for his incredible speed and ability to chase down almost anyone, but that speed has hid that, at times, he was a defensive liability. It is no secret that he did not have the best of years for the Rapids and was burned more and more and made some pretty boneheaded plays. That being said, I think Wynne did suffer from playing out of position (he is NOT a center back) and was mismanaged at times by the coaching staff. I do think Wynne can be a starter in this league, and could potentially be a starter for the Rapids, but at his current salary, I can't see him coming back. If the Rapids can lower his wage bill, I would welcome Wynne back.
Nick LaBrocca--LaBrocca is a tough one for me. I really love his blue collar attitude and work rate when he is on the pitch, but he seems to play in a midfield that has plenty of options. He is not quite a defensive midfielder and he is not quite an attacking mid and is not the best on the wing, so where do you play him? He has a cannon for a leg, but does not have the best accuracy. He is a physical player, but he takes too many silly yellow cards. Bottom line for me: there is a lot to like about LaBrocca, and lot that is frustrating about him. I could see him back in Burgundy next year as he seems to like being in Colorado, but I think at a different salary figure.
Carlos Alvarez--I was shocked to see that Alvarez was on this list as he seemed to show some promise this year and his salary figure is at a point where it would make sense to keep him. Certainly he would be behind Dillon Powers and Dillon Serna in the pecking order (if you assume that Vicente Sanchez and Jose Mari are starters in the midfield) so perhaps it was a matter of playing time for him. He was a defensive liability for the club, but as a younger, attacking player, defense is no the first thing that develops. I would really like to see the club bring him back and see if he can earn a spot in 2015.
So what do you think Rapids fans? Do you agree with the roster moves that were made? Hit us up with your comments below!