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Rebuilding the Rapids: MLS Player Combine

The Rapids are in need of players. The 2016 MLS Player Combine is one place to look.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that the Colorado Rapids are in need of players.  Looking at their roster on Monday morning (December 14), there are just 19 players under contract for 2016.  That is not quite enough, and while I do feel that more trades and signings are coming, the 2016 MLS Player Combine represents a good path to look for more players.

After all,  the Rapids have done pretty well at the Combine picking up players such as Deshorn Brown, Dillon Powers, Jared Watts, Joseph Greenspan and Axel Sjoberg.

Last Friday, Major League Soccer announced the initial crop of players that will be invited to the Combine to be held on January 7-12, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  That list of players is as follows:

Name School Position Hometown Citizenship
Brandon Allen Georgetown F Old Bridge, NJ USA
Emmanuel Appiah Cincinnati M Westerville, OH USA
Duncan Backus UCSB D Higland Village, TX USA
Hadji Barry UCF M Rochester, NY USA
Justin Bilyeu SIU-Edwardsville D St. Louis, MO USA
Colin Bonner UNC Wilmington F Fulton, MD USA
Bradley Bourgeois Tulsa D Cypress, TX USA
Neco Brett Robert Morris F Kingston, Jamaica JAM
Jonathan Campbell North Carolina D Greensboro, NC USA
Zach Carroll Michigan State D Grand Blanc, MI USA
Robert 'T.J.' Casner Clemson F Irvine, CA USA
Dennis Castillo VCU D San Jose, Costa Rica CRC
Paul Clowes Clemson M Cheshire, UK GBR
Tyler David Saint Louis M/D Minneapolis, MN USA
Mikhail Doholis Oregon State M Vancouver, WA USA
Liam Doyle Ohio State D Isle of Man, UK GBR
Tsubasa Endoh Maryland M Tokyo, Japan JPN
Kyle Fisher Clemson D Easley, SC USA
Michael Gamble Wake Forest F Columbia, MD USA
Wade Hamilton Cal Poly GK Murrieta, CA USA
Josh Heard Washington M Victoria, BC CAN
Ryan Herman Washington GK Fall City, WA USA
Brendan Hines-Ike South Florida D Denver, CO USA
Patrick Hodan Notre Dame M Brookfield, WI USA
Femi Hollinger-Janzen Indiana F Goshen, IN USA
Callum Irving Kentucky GK Vancouver, BC CAN
Ryan James Bowling Green M Mississauga, ON CAN
Vincent Keller Creighton D/M Freiburg, Germany GER
Max Lachowecki Notre Dame D Evansville, IN GER
Sven Lissek Furman GK Sewau, Germany GER
Jamie Luchini Lehigh F Wexford, PA USA
Mitchell Lurie Rutgers D Atlanta, GA USA
Darius Madison UMBC F Philadelphia, PA USA
Ivan Maghales Maryland D Sao Paulo, Brazil BRA
Antonio Matarazzo Columbia M Fair Lawn, NJ ITA
Zach Mathers Duke M Keller, TX USA
Jordan McCrary North Carolina D Marietta, GA USA
Chase Minter Cal Poly M Heath, TX USA
Vincent Mitchell Butler M Reckford Clarendon, Jamaica JAM
James Moberg Washington M Windsor, CA USA
James 'C.' Nortey Marquette F Accra, Ghana GHA
Kyle Parker Charlotte F Marvin, NC USA
Timo Pitter Creighton M/F Oberschwarzach, Germany GER
Ben Polk Syracuse F Herkimer, NY USA
Keegan Rosenberry Georgetown D Ronks, PA USA
Michael Salazar UC Riverside F Cayo, Belize USA/BLZ
Thomas Sanner Princeton F Indianapolis, IN USA
Rodrigo Saravia Florida Gulf Coast M Guatemala City, Guatemala GUA
Jordan Schweitzer Denver M Everett, WA USA
Cole Seiler Georgetown D Anderson, SC USA
Keegan Smith San Diego F Temecula, CA USA
Andrew Souders Akron D Amherst, OH USA
Connor Sparrow Creighton GK St. Louis, MO USA
Mitchell Taintor Rutgers M Storrs, CT USA
Tyler Thompson Stanford M Sacramento, CA USA
Josh Turnley Georgetown D Beaver, PA USA
Eric Verso Stanford M Los Angeles, CA USA
Brandon Vincent Stanford D Valencia, CA USA
Todd Wharton Virginia M Glen Allen, VA USA

The Rapids have many needs going into 2016, but defense and forward should be tops on the list.  Looking at the roster (as of Tuesday morning, December 15) the Rapids have:

Defender: Marc Burch, Joseph Greenspan, Axel Sjoberg, Sean St. Ledger and Jared Watts.  Marlon Hairston is listed as a midfielder for the Rapids and Watts is considered more of a defensive midfielder.  Bottom line: the Rapids need defensive help.

Forward: Dominique Badji, Caleb Calvert, Kevin Doyle, and Luis Solignac are currently under contract for next year and have a combined SEVEN MLS goals to their name.  This is a thin group and reinforcements will be needed.

As the Combine gets closer we will be providing a more in depth look at what the Rapids should be looking for, but always welcome your comments as to what you feel the needs are for the Burgundy Boys.