Although the first work stoppage in Major League Soccer history is on the horizon, Colorado Rapids announced today that they had re-signed midfielders Nick LaBrocca and Carlos Alvarez and defender Marc Burch agreed to a new contract. This is not a massive shock as all three players had been active participants in camp and, in the case of Burch, may be in line for the starting left back position.
As you may remember, the Rapids declined options on Alvarez and LaBrocca in November. This did not mean that the club had cut them, only that they did not pick up the option at the 2015 price/contract level. Bringing Alvarez and LaBrocca back is a good move for the club as they will provide depth at key positions. LaBrocca should provide ample coverage at defensive midfielder and can play in an attacking midfield role as well. He also led the club in minutes in 2014.
In the case of Alvarez, he is a player that has shown some pretty exciting play, but is not quite the refined product that may be needed for consistent playing time. That being said, Alvarez is an exciting younger player with good vision and pace that can provide something special on the pitch. It is important to stress that Alvarez arrived mid-season last year and is still getting his feet wet with the Rapids.
Having Burch agree to a new contract is a smart move and he truly does look like he will be a starter. He had a decent 2014 season providing a highlight reel goal and some good defense. He seemed to fade coming down the stretch (as did the entire team) but has come into camp fit, hungry, and ready for battle. I expect a solid year from Burch.
What say you Rapids fans? Are you excited about these moves? Hit us in the comment section and let us know your thoughts.