The Colorado Rapids completed the first two rounds of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday (the draft concludes on Tuesday with Rounds 3 and 4) and with that the roster is beginning to take a bit more shape. And although there are certainly more moves to be coming for the Rapids, here is how things look now:
Clint Irwin, Zac MacMath, John Berner
Marc Burch, Joseph Greenspan, Axel Sjoberg, Sean St. Ledger, Jared Watts
Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Marlon Hairston, Marco Pappa, Dillon Powers, Zach Pfeffer, Juan Ramirez, Marcelo Sarvas, Dillon Serna
Dominique Badji, Caleb Calvert, Kevin Doyle, Luis Solignac
1) Last Week--The Rapids drafted two players, both of which I think will have an excellent chance of making the team. Midfielder Emmanuel Appiah and defender Dennis Castillo were selected in the first and second rounds respectively by the Rapids and both have a shot at making it this season. The Rapids are still thin in a few areas and both should get a contract offer. Whether they play this season in Commerce City or Charlotte is a bigger question.
2) Pappa Factor--we have not written about the situation with Marco Pappa as I choose to not write about domestic violence situations, but it is important to at least discuss. Whatever is or is not going on with Pappa (and NO ONE has all of the facts on this) there is a chance that Pappa could miss time with the Rapids. This was the Rapids big off-season signing and if he is out for any amount of time because of this issue, it would be a big blow to the Rapids.
3) That allocation spot: the Rapids have worked very hard at making a splash this off-season and ever since they acquired the top spot in the allocation rankings, the rumors have been significant. First it was Alejandro Bedoya which was rebuffed by his current club Nantes. And the Rapids are now being linked with Tim Howard of Everton. Here is the current list of players that fall under allocation order:
|Juan Anangono||Leones Negros (MEX)||Transfer|
|Alejandro Bedoya||Nantes (FRA)||Senior USMNT|
|Deshorn Brown||Valerenga (NOR)||Transfer|
|Geoff Cameron||Stoke City (ENG)||Transfer|
|Junior Flores||Borussia Dortmund (GER)||Youth USMNT|
|Giancarlo Gonzalez||Palermo (ITA)||Transfer|
|Julian Green||Bayern Munich (GER)||Youth USMNT|
|Brad Guzan||Aston Villa (ENG)||Senior USMNT|
|Doneil Henry||West Ham Utd (ENG)||Transfer|
|Tim Howard||Everton (ENG)||Senior USMNT|
|Aron Johannsson||AZ Alkmaar (NED)||Senior USMNT|
|Fabian Johnson||Borussia Monchengladbach (GER)||Senior USMNT|
|Fredy Montero||Sporting Clube (POR)||Transfer|
|Shaquell Moore||Huracan (ESP)||Youth USMNT|
|Andy Najar||Anderlecht (BEL)||Transfer|
|Tim Ream||Bolton (ENG)||Transfer|
|Alain Rochat||BSC Young Boys (SWI)||Transfer|
|Oriol Rosell||Sporting Clube (POR)||Transfer|
|Rubio Rubin||FC Utrecht (NED)||Youth USMNT|
|Richard Sanchez||UANL Tigres (MEX)||Transfer|
|Camilo Sanvezzo||Queretaro (MEX)||Transfer|
|Jose Adolfo Valencia||Independiente (ARG)
(on loan from Rosario Central)
|DeAndre Yedlin||Sunderland (ENG)
(on loan from Tottenham)
I love the idea that the Rapids were aggressive in getting the top spot in the allocation order, but they need to use it on the right player. Is that player someone who can help the team or who puts butts in the seats? Would someone like Tim Howard do that? I do not believe that Howard is the right choice in Colorado as we have three goalkeepers already, but I understand the team wanting to sign him. They need buzz. He would bring buzz.
4) Who Goes to Charlotte? One of the big questions this off-season is who will go to Charlotte on loan for the Rapids. Our friends at Crown Town Soccer in Charlotte had a great look at their roster and their needs. The roster in Charlotte is quite thin and you have to think that the Rapids will probably send 3-4 players during the season. But who could they be? The problem is the Rapids roster is so thin (right now) that it's hard to project. However, when you look at the roster a few things emerge and you get a guess at who could go. I think Berner will go to Charlotte as the Rapids have Irwin and MacMath. I think Calvert will make a return trip to Charlotte especially if the Rapids do sign Alan Pulido. And depending on who the Rapids draft tomorrow, I could see a few of those guys going on loan with Independence at some point.
5) Camp Opens--the pre-season opens on Friday and we will know more about the roster then. Who is in camp and who is not. But this is a make or break year for Gaffer Pablo Mastroeni and the Front Office. They know they need to deliver results and with the moves (and potential moves) they appear to understand the importance. Have the Rapids done enough? Time will tell.