UPDATE: The Rapids announced the loan at 10:00 am MT. Length of the loan was no disclosed.
The Colorado Rapids have yet to announce the loan (as of the publishing of this article), but Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Head Coach Steve Trittschuh told Ryan Kaufman on XTRA Sports 1300 that midfielder Micheal Azira will be available against OKC Energy on Saturday.
This. is. ridiculous.
Not only that the Switchbacks broke this news before the Rapids did, but I could give you a few names of guys who start or play regularly for Colorado that actually belong in the USL. I know it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges because at least two of the guys I’m thinking of are not midfielders, but Micheal Azira is an MLS-quality player that deserves time on the pitch.
Azira was a key player for the Rapids in 2016 and 2017, and was benched this year in favor of new players. Perhaps Azira didn’t fit into the new system (although at this point the new system seems to have gone out the window), but the Rapids are basically out of the playoffs, so why not try Azira in there for a couple of games to give him a chance to get into a groove? We literally have nothing to lose. But instead, the Rapids are sending him to the USL, which, in my opinion, is a slap in the face. Unless there is an injury or something he is rehabbing, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Especially after Coach Hudson sang his praises post-game after playing Houston last month: “Well I think the way we played obviously changed after the goals and after the sending off and Jack Price has been unbelievable this season and Michael Azira, I have to say, has impressed me because he’s coming in difficult circumstances, he’s coming to a team that are going through a tough time and he’s shown a lot of character and he’s stepping up for the team. Tonight, was another example, I think down to 10 men (Azira) was very responsible and again, it was another one night where he just epitomizes that we’ve got a really, really honest group of players.”