What a difference a year makes! After two straight seasons that could only be classified as an unmitigated disaster, the 2016 season saw our Colorado Rapids make some glorious noise all the way to the Western Conference final. But remember going into the 2016 season? The Front Office couldn't seem do anything to satisfy Rapids fans.
With such a showing in 2016, times have certainly changed. But the question remains—have the Rapids done enough to encourage you going into 2017? I believe so, and here's why:
- Leaving the "City" for the "City." Our illustrious Burgundy Wave writers have already written about Adjei-Boateng exchanging one 'City' (Manchester City) for another (Commerce City). With Jermaine Jones' [insert your own adjective here] exit to the LA Galaxy, acquiring such a young talent should raise the hopes of every Rapids fan.
- Acquiring Alan the Assassin. I'm personally excited about this acquisition because I'm tired of seeing him on other teams (most recently the San Jose Earthquakes and the Galaxy) coming in late to score goals and killing the Rapids' opportunity to win on one too many occasions. From everything we've read, it looks like that the transition is seamless. What a fantastic super sub to come in the 65th minute to put other teams away.
- Solidifying a Rapids Family Feel. I am impressed at how many former Rapids players are coming back over the past few years to help the team move forward. Pablo Mastroeni, (the recently departed) Paul Bravo and John Spencer, and now Conor Casey. This, along with Marcelo Balboa in the booth, is an interesting dynamic that is happening among the Rapids. (Disclaimer: I've only been following the Rapids in a diehard fashion for the last four years, so this may have been taking place beforehand). Not to mention Balboa and Chris Martinez also joining the Colorado Rapids Development Academy coaching staff. I'm enjoying how, from top to bottom, we're seeing former Rapids players coming back and being all in.
Do I have concerns? Yes, and I believe they are the same as yours: will the Rapids address the lack of scoring up top?
While I'm optimistic that the Rapids will continue with their stout defense, teams now have had an entire offseason to unlock any tendencies the back four have. But on the other side of the coin, that same back four have significant chemistry heading into the new season.
But the scoring? The Front Office has been money in their pickups to bolster the squad, and transactions could be in the works that are under the radar (remember Shkelzen Gashi, everyone?). Our patience is tested, yes, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it all will play out.
So, are you super encouraged about the moves in the offseason? Bummed? Meh? Sound off the comments. And please know—as soon as word breaks about any upcoming news regarding the Rapids, we'll have it covered, so check back often.