With only 7 days until the Colorado Rapids open their season with a CONCACAF Champions League match against Toronto FC, the team may have yet one more player to add to the roster. Although Head Coach Anthony Hudson has expressed a desire to consolidate and prepare with the players already in the club, rumors are swirling that the club is looking to add striker Billy Sharp from English Championship side Sheffield United.
The 32-year-old Sharp is a seasoned veteran of the English Championship. In a 14-year career stretching back to 2004, Sharp has plied his trade for one Championship club after another, often joining a newly promoted club in their drive to hold onto a spot in the English second division in their first season up from League One (the English third division). Beginning his career for Sheffield United, Sharp has played for Rushden & Diamonds FC, Scunthorpe, Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Leads United, and finally back home to his original club, Sheffield United. From 2012-2014 he was with English Premier League side Southampton, playing in 17 matches at the top tier of English football while also going out on loan repeatedly to some of the aforementioned clubs: Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest, and Reading.
The journeyman striker tallied a brace over the weekend as Sheffield beat Leeds 2-1. The goals took Sharp past the 200 goal-mark in the Championship.
Sheffield United are firmly rooted in the middle of the Championship table, sitting in 8th place with 49 points.
While Sharp is experiencing an excellent year for Sheffield United, having scored 10 goals for the team, he is seen by some as superfluous to their needs at the present time. British newspaper The Star stated that “Sharp, United’s captain and leading goalscorer last term, is competing with Clayton Donaldson and the on-loan (James) Wilson for a place alongside Leon Clarke.” Donaldson is 34 years old; Wilson is 22; and Clarke is 33. Clarke can be reliably inked into the starting XI by virtue of his 14 goals in 19 games for United. Sheffield may sense that one of these three ageless wonders needs to make way for younger players to get some run out.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Rapids oldest striker is the 25-year-old Dominique Badji. The Rapids may feel what this club sorely needs to succeed in 2018 is some senior leadership in the final third.
When asked for confirmation on the story, the Colorado Rapids declined to comment.