The first year of the Pablo Mastroeni era for the Colorado Rapids was one that was always going to be filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, and good and bad (or whatever overused sports cliche you want to insert here). The team is currently mired in their longest stretch of truly poor form but that does not mean that this is a lost season. There is still time to get it together but it is also fun to talk about the roster after this season and going into 2015. There have been rumblings that the team will be active in the off-season, and based on how the team is doing and how the roster looks, I tend to agree with it.
And complicating matters, New York City FC and Orlando City SC are entering the league and that means expansion draft. I am not capable of discussing what rules will be involved (protected players, Homegrown players, Generation Adidas, etc) as MLS is never really clear about their rules.
So after all of that, who do I think is leaving the team in the off-season? Pablo is still building the roster in his image and inherited a squad from another regime Here is an unofficial list of players I think are leaving:
Brian Mullan MF/DEF
Mullan has stated that this was going to be his last year and has not played yet for the first team. He made one appearance in the 18, and with his age and the Rapids going to youth, his fantastic career should be coming to a close at the end of 2014.
Edson Buddle F
Buddle has struggled to make an impact since his arrival from LA Galaxy before the 2013 season. He has struggled with injuries, playing time, and was never the biggest fan of coming to Colorado. He has made 33 appearances for the Rapids in two years and six goals. The Rapids are looking at younger playmakers, and a 33 year old striker who looks to be past his prime may not be in the plans.
Danny Mwanga F
Mwanga has never shown anything on the playing field during his time with the Rapids and will be costing the team a 2015 first round Superdraft selection. It would be one thing if he had shown some progress with the team, but so far his stats are this: 19 appearances with the club over two years and zero goals.
Marvell Wynne DEF
Wynne has been in Burgundy since 2010 and has been a rock on defense for the bulk of that time. However, there has been a drop off in performance in the last two years and at his salary it is tough to keep him on board. I could see him staying at a lower salary, but he needs to consistently prove that he is deserving of a spot on the back line. There are younger guys (at a lower salary) behind him on the depth chart that have shown that they can compete.
The X factor in all of this is how the expansion draft effects the roster. The Rapids could lose up to two unprotected players and in the past they lost Jordan Harvey, Sanna Nyassi, and Anthony Wallace (who was traded back to the Rapids) so that will impact decisions the team makes.
What do you think? Are there other players that could leave/or you want to leave? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.