News is trickling out of Commerce City about the Rapids transfer targets during the current summer window.
First was a little tidbit care of John Meyer at the Denver Post, who interviewed Pablo Mastroeni after training on Tuesday. Meyer wrote:
Mastroeni has said he expects the club to add two players in the coming weeks, including one who “will definitely raise the level of the group.”
Next was another detail from Mastroeni, revealed Wednesday morning on the Altitude 950 morning show with Vic Lombardi.
'Padraig is in Florida talking to domestic GMs.' /5— Rapids Rabbi (@rapidsrabbi) July 12, 2017
That’s Rapids Padraig Smith, Rapids Sporting Director, to you and me. Hopefully ‘domestic GMs’ means MLS teams, and not just the front offices of the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Miami FC.
The Rapids front office has been open about wanting help in the attack, and certainly attacking midfield and striker are positions the Rapids would like to upgrade. Those targets have likely been scouted for months, and primarily from teams overseas in Europe or South America.
A second area of need that has emerged this season is along the left side, at both left midfield and left back. The injuries to Shkelzen Gashi and the trade of Marc Burch have left both positions a bit wobbly this season - Mekeil Williams has had roughly a one-to-one ratio of good games to bad games, and the injuries to the backline have required Eric Miller, a solid fullback, to play at CB recently. At left midfield, Mohammed Saeid and Dillon Serna have both been effective, but both have also seen time on the right wing, and with the finishing challenges of Joshua Gatt and the move of Marlon Hairston to right back, the club might be thin on the wings.
Here’s a couple of teams from within MLS that might be willing to deal their spare parts right now:
- Columbus have a few spare defenders that aren’t getting regular time on the field, like Waylon Francis and Lalas Abubakar.
- DC United might be in rebuild mode, and perhaps Colorado native Taylor Kemp would want to return home.
- The LA Galaxy have a ton of forwards, and not enough places to play them; I’d think Jack McBean, Gyasi Zardes, Bradford Jamiesen IV, Jack McInerney, and Raul Mendiola could be moved.
- The Revolution have widely been rumored to be shopping striker Kei Kamara. Striker/winger Teal Bunbury also seems to be extraneous to the Rev’s plans this year.
- Mikey Lopez and Miguel Camargo also seem to be spare parts for NYCFC, and both play wide.
- I don’t think anyone at Red Bull New York likes disappointing forward Gonzalo Veron - he’d probably come cheap.
- If RSL really are going to commit to a youth movement, as they should, alterkakers* Joao Plata, Yura Movsisyan, Luke Mulholland, and Kyle Beckerman all become expendable.
- I don’t see how a stacked Toronto team can find time for Raheem Edwards, Tosaint Ricketts, and Jordan Hamilton to play at forward.
The Rapids could buy any of the aforementioned players with straight cash in the form of GAM or TAM, or offer a player swap. It is widely assumed that Dillon Powers and Zac MacMath are deal-able. Jared Watts, Mekeil Williams, Kevin Doyle, Alan Gordon, Caleb Calvert and Micheal Azira could also be swapped, in my opinion. And to be honest, with a team as shaky as this one, nearly anybody could be sold off as the club tries to recover from a rough first half.
Add to all of this speculation the inevitable game of musical chairs that begins when any MLS side brings in a new foreign player and makes a current player at that position redundant, and you have all the potential for a very active transfer window. The final day for trades is August 9. My advice is: refresh the Burgundy Wave homepage often.
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* If you don’t know, now you know.