With that announcement that Appiah and Calvert were being loaned to Charlotte Independence, there has been some roster clarity but it begs another question: how is the roster depth for the Rapids and the Independence? Are both teams set? Are their holes that need to be fixed? First, let's take a look at the current roster of the Independence (as of March 15 at 7:00 PM MDT):
And for reference, here is the Rapids current roster (again, as of March 15 at about 7:00 PM MDT):
|Defender||Sean St. Ledger|
OK. So we have the rosters and there are a couple of things that stick out right away:
1) The Independence Roster is THIN--Right now, Charlotte has just 13 signed players and 2 Rapids players on loan. That is not going to be enough for this season, but they are still two weeks out from their First Kick. That being said, forward and defender are a need. Appiah and Calvert are on their way, but you have to wonder if more might be heading to Charlotte. Badji and Conor Doyle are names that come to mind, but remember--with Copa America Centenario and Euros 2016 coming up, the Rapids will lose players. That depth will be helpful.
2) But Less Rapids--Crown Town Soccer, our friends who cover the Charlotte Independence, argued that any Rapids players that come may not feature as significantly as Rapids players did in 2015. I completely agree with them. The players that went to Charlotte had different levels of success so it's not a big surprise that Rapids players may not be as relied on. However, with the roster as thin as it is right now in Charlotte, more Burgundy players may be making the 3 1/2 flight to the CLT.
3) Creative Playmaker in Burgundy--I have heard many times over the past couple of days that the Rapids are lacking a creative playmaker. From the MLS Soccer Power Rankings on Tuesday:
Colorado got the win, which is always nice. But they also whipped in 20 crosses and connected on just two, which suggests they need A) a little more midfield creativity, and B) a tactical re-think.
I think that the Rapids do have a creative playmaker in Pappa, but the tactical re-think *might* be a bit early. The Rapids are a team that is still gelling and coming together and they are dealing with a few Lads who are not at full fitness yet. Pappa and Gashi are not fully fit and that has thrust players like Badji in the Starting XI. I am pretty sure the Rapids are not going to veer much from the favored 4-2-3-1 formation, and so I don't think that talking about a tactical rethink is necessary. Yet. However, let's see how things look in the next four to six games.
And the Rapids are 1-1-0 (3 points) which is three points more than ANYONE in MLS thought they would have. Let's be patient.
So what do you think Rapids fans? Who are prime candidates to make the trip to Charlotte? Or is the Rapids roster set as it is? Let us know in the comment section below!