Butts in Seats.
I was listening to the Voice of C38 Podcast and they were having a discussion about how the average Coloradan do not know about the Colorado Rapids. And for the most part, they are right: The Rapids are just unpopular, nothing wrong with that but it’s true. Despite being Colorado’s best professional sports team in Colorado, they’re still not a household name. Sure Shkelzen Gashi is a fantastic player with amazing jaw-dropping goals but no one knew anything about him when he came in February 2016. Over time, Gashi built a name for himself within the Rapids club and organization and is now a loved player on the field. However, he was an unproven player most people didn't recognize other than Albanians in Colorado. The Rapids need to go after a player who will bring in a lot of fans and battle with the Broncos and Nuggets in supremacy of the Colorado sports scene. In a country that idolizes gridiron football more than any other sport, it’ll be a hard mountain. But the Rapids are all about overcoming mountains.
Who to Bring?
First thing’s first, the Rapids need to sign a quality Central Attacking Midfielder, otherwise known as a prominent #10. Its no secret that the Rapids lack in the attacking third and they lack a #10 that’ll distribute and create chances while also being a solid goalscorer when needed. We’ve tried Jermaine Jones in that role and it worked for a couple of games but due to injury, we missed him for half a season. Powers has been criticized for killing attacking play and I do not believe that’s his strongest role. And Marco Pappa played more on the wings than being the number #10. With that being said, there isn’t much to be said about our attacking threat other than Gashi can score some great bangers and Marlon Hairston can be a threat on the wings and counter attack. So the Rapids desperately need a number 10 who will be a popular player and will bring fans to the stadium. But who? This is how I would approach this.
According to PewResearchCenter.com, the percent population of Hispanics/Latinos in Colorado is 21%. A fifth of Colorado’s population is Latino and the Rapids could gain a lot of new fans if they sign a Mexican international that’ll bring plenty of people to DSGP. Tim Howard was a proven name that brought plenty of new fans and casual soccer fans to come see one of the best goalkeepers in the United States. Howard can fill DSGP, however we need more. We need to bring in more Latinos to watch the games. Many people’s first thought would be to sign Mexican Superstar Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez but I think the boat has sailed on that a long, long, time ago. (I know Chicharito is not a #10, but he would still bring a lot of fans to the club) So we have to be realistic about who we go for. A player that will bring Latinos to watch the games and bring us the results we want on the pitch.
Our New DP…?
The player that I would personally go after is Mexican International Marco Fabian. He may not be Chicharito’s level of popularity but he is a player that fits all of the requirements.
Proven Number 10? Check.
Popular with the Latino Demographic? Check.
Marco Fabian has all the makings to be a quality signing for the Rapids and one that I’d be thrilled to see. Could Fabian actually come to MLS? I don’t see why not. He’s currently playing at Eintracht Frankfurt and has a starting spot, why would he want to leave Germany to a lower level league like the MLS? Well there are some ways to persuade him.
He’d be a DP and have a pay raise by coming to the MLS
The US is much closer to his home nation of Mexico.
He’d be a star in MLS and in the Rapids
By joining the Rapids he could make the squad serious contenders for the MLS Cup.
Those are just some of the reasons to play in MLS. This would also do MLS good by showing to the rest of the leagues that MLS isn't just a league where players past their prime go to retire. Marco Fabian is worth $3.9 Million and in the prime of his career at age 27. Do you know who else was 27, valued at $3+ Million and in their prime ? Shkelzen Gashi. The Rapids can go for these types of players. Now that Doyle isn’t a DP there is room to make Marco Fabian a star with the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids bought Gashi at $2.5 Million from Basel, they could negotiate with Frankfurt and get Fabian at, say $2.7 Million.
I know that aiming for Marco Fabian might be ambitious and a long stretch, but I believe that signing him would do the Rapids wonders. We have the open DP slot, we have an open International Spot (I doubt Juan Ramirez will be with Rapids when he comes back in July), and I believe that this signing could happen. In my eyes it’s realistic and could happen. For now though, it is a transfer rumor in my head waiting to happen. Whoever the Rapids sign as a Number 10, I hope will do well.