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Are the Colorado Rapids Underrated?

The Rapids enter mid-July in third place in the Western Conference. Without significant help from their high priced designated player. Is Gabriel Torres the piece that puts the Rapids over the top?

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

When the Colorado Rapids brought in Gabriel Torres as the first designated player in club history I was as excited as when alcohol sales were legalized on Sundays. Almost a year after the acquisition, 3 goals and 2 assists was not the production that the front office or Rapids fans had hoped. But things are looking up for Torres as he got on the score sheet with an assist on the game leveling goal by Deshorn Brown in the 86th minute this past weekend against the Philadelphia Union. With the transfer market open for business and every team trying to make themselves better. Why can't the story of the second half of the season for the Rapids be the emergence of the play-maker/attacking midfielder Gaby Torres?

Torres is already on the books for the Rapids this season and they are in third place which would mean a home and home series in the Western Conference playoffs. Torres coming off of the bench and providing the extra pass to break Deshorn for a late goal or maybe setting up Edson Buddle for a rebound from two feet away will be invaluble going down the stretch in September or October. The weeks the Rapids have two matches will be crucial for him to be fit so Colorado can keep or improve their playoff position. It looks almost like Seattle has the top spot locked up with several months to play. The Sounders domination of the Timbers last Sunday night proved that Seattle picked up where they left off after the World Cup break.

I don't think the Rapids should do much of anything during the transfer market. The defense is solid. With Marvell Wynne getting the occasional rest and Thomas Piermayr filling in the back line and keeper with Drew Moor captaining have done a great job and probably deserve all the glory for the Rapids achievements this season. For the duration of the bad and inconsistent play the Rapids have endured it seems to me that getting controlled in the midfield (Chivas USA), and not having a forward that can finish on a particular night. Rapids fans have to hope that Vicente Sanchez and Dillon Powers are healthy for the climax to and during the playoffs. DIllon Serna's recent form will cause concern for Rapids opponents. He's playing so well that Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni can't take him out. How good could the current team be with the addition of a healthy Torres to the line-up? Putting Torres with Brown and Serna on the same pitch sounds like a dangerous problem for all of the MLS. These players learning how to play together and hopefully peaking at the same time near the end of the season would be the best possible scenario for the 2014 MLS season.