It is a symbol of leadership.
It is worn by the leader of men (or women) on the pitch of a soccer match and it is one of the most recognizable things in soccer.
How many times have you asked "who has the armband" before a match?
For the Colorado Rapids this is a question they have not asked that many times in their history as they have only had six permanent Captains in total:
|1999||Marcelo Balboa and Peter Vermes|
But it is a question that is getting asked this off season. With the departure of Drew Moor to Toronto FC, there is a vacancy for permanent Captain for the Rapids and this is something that the Rapids have to get right. The Captain is the leader, or coach, on the field. This is the guy that will lead his troops into battle 34 times in the regular season. He has to be the one that the players come to for help and he has to be the one to accept responsibility for the failures of the team.
People can complain about Pablo Mastroeni's tenure as Gaffer for the Rapids, but no one can question his ability to lead his team. He was the unquestioned leader of the Rapids and was someone who wore the armband with pride.
But what is funny about that is how often he has gotten the Armband wrong as coach. In 2014, he lost Drew Moor to injury there was some debate about who might wear it. He originally gave it to Dillon Powers, but Powers lost the armband and gave it to Zat Knight. Knight, the guy who played all of four games with the team and was an absolute disaster as a defender. And Knight was a terrible leader on the field.
In 2015, while Moor was recovering the armband was worn by Marcelo Sarvas, Bobby Burling or Sam Cronin. But after Moor came back he was later stripped of the armband in favor of Cronin or Burling. I am not going to get into the merits of that decision, but it was a curious one. And at the end of the season, Kevin Doyle had the armband.
Needless to say, confusion reigned.
And this is a decision that Mastroeni has to get right. The Rapids *could* be successful this year and surprise some folks, but to do that they are going to need a strong Captain and a strong leader.
So who are the candidates? I think Cronin and Doyle are the most logical, but it would not surprise me to see the Rapids pull a shock move.
1) Cronin--I think the Rapids defensive midfielder makes the most sense in terms of he has that field general look to him. He is a quiet and humble leader and despite his tendency to take dumb fouls from time to time (the Red Card at KC last year comes to mind), I could see him being named Captain.
2) Doyle--The Rapids striker really did have a pretty good half season for the Rapids and wore the armband for the Rapids in the final game of the regular season. Is it enough to carry over into 2016? I think so and if you are paying a guy a DP salary, you expect goals certainly. But you also expect leadership and Doyle can be that leader.
3) Shock Moves--I think the Rapids will most likely stick with Cronin or Doyle, but don't rule out a shocker like Burling, Sean St. Ledger or Powers.
So who do you think should wear the armband? Let us know in the comment sections or the poll below!