During the 2015 MLS Draft, the Colorado Rapids pulled off something of a masterpiece when they managed to get Marcelo Sarvas from the LA Galaxy for nothing more than a bump up the allocation order and some allocation $$$. Sarvas is a great player, but the Galaxy were willing to part with him because they were in the race for Sacha Kljestan and their move up near the top of the list made it look like they were in the driver's seat. The move ended up backfiring spectacularly on them as the New York Red Bulls traded for the spot just above them right after that and got the US National midfielder instead.
Learning lessons is not a thing the Rapids do well, as we all know. So should it really surprise us that we're seeing a similar thing happen, but this time to Colorado, this year?
Yep, the Rapids seem to have gotten themselves into a similar pickle this year after trading for the #1 Allocation spot during this year's MLS Draft with the Chicago Fire. The initial reports after the move was made were indicating that the Rapids would be looking towards USMNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, but unfortunately it quickly became apparent that Bedoya wouldn't be coming to MLS, at least at the moment.
"We tried to make it happen but Nantes is not selling" Bravo said on Thursday of the club's interest in Bedoya. "We still feel securing the top spot in the Player Allocation Order is a very significant step for our organization."
So that leaves the Rapids in a bit of a pickle. Without Bedoya, the number of available USMNT players available with that Allocation Order pick seems a bit slimmer, or at least less obvious. That doesn't mean that options aren't available, however. Sadly, the Rapids appear to be going with what might be the worst possible option: USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Six years ago, Howard would have been an incredible pick-up for the Rapids. Unfortunately, he's not young (for a keeper) or in his prime any more. Hell, USMNT fans have spent the entire year and a half since the last World Cup arguing whether or not Tim should even start any more after his inconsistent last World Cup cycle. (Seriously, that superhuman performance in the Belgium game made people forget a lot of mediocrity from the year prior.)
Focusing on why the Old Gray Howard just ain't what he used to be isn't even the major reason why this would be silly for the Rapids, though.
The Rapids are in a situation where they have two goalkeepers that are, at the very least, good, in Clint Irwin and Zac MacMath. Their defense has lost their captain and they lack much of anything at fullback -- smart of the Rapids to get rid of their entire defense and then trade away all of their picks in a D-heavy top of the draft this year, eh? -- and adding a third capable goalkeeper to the roster wouldn't do an enormous amount to improve the situation if they aren't willing to add any defenders to go along with it. Sean St. Ledger is a starter in the defense for this Rapids team; you could put a literal wall of iron in between the sticks and I'd wager they'll still let in two a game. And how happy do you think Irwin and MacMath would be to be relegated to automatic second/third string when both could likely start for multiple teams in the league? (Don't pretend like even if he performed under par, Howard wouldn't automatically start.)
Bonus points for the fact that Howard would cost several million dollars. You think Kevin Doyle was expensive? If Howard was asking for any less than double what he's making, I would be absolutely amazed. For that extravagant amount, you could get a player much younger, much more useful, and in a much more vital position for this team than GK. The pickings might not be as obvious as Bedoya, but if you're willing to spend (I'm guessing they would have had to shell out quite a bit for Bedoya to start) there are plenty of options. Perhaps try and pry Fabian Johnson (OH GOD PLEASE) out of Germany to MLS like it's been rumored would happen for ages now. Stuart Holden is back in business again, and he would be an intriguing addition to the squad as he tries to rebuild his USMNT career once again. Anything but Howard. Seriously.
If the Rapids are going to try and use that pick wisely, they shouldn't go for a 36-year-old goalkeeper who would do absolutely nothing but fill the stands with uninterested USMNT fans. That would be the most Rapids thing ever.