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2013 Rapids Player Rating & Review - Atiba Harris

Despite a few solid games at the start of the season, Atiba Harris' season for the Rapids was mostly a disappointment. The fact that he seemed like an untouchable on the roster despite his mediocre-at-times play didn't help.

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As we do every year, through the month of December we'll be doing ratings and reviews of every player who played even a slightly significant amount of minutes for the Colorado Rapids in 2013. We'll start from the goalkeepers and move our way up to the forwards. Today, we'll cover Atiba Harris.

Atiba Harris
Number: 16
Appearances: 29 (2012 minutes)
Stats: 5 goals, 1 assist

Here, let's look at a quote from me after the Rapids traded for Atiba Harris last year:

You may remember Harris from that time he played Colorado in the regular season and didn't do much of anything, or perhaps that time he played in the MLS Cup against Colorado and didn't do much of anything. With only 17 goals and 19 assists in his MLS career, he's never been the type to light up the scoreboard. This strikes me as more of a depth signing than anything else

Indeed, that's what I expected from him. He's Atiba Harris, for crying out loud. Every year he gets three or four goals, and no great MLS team has ever counted him among their stalwart players. (FC Dallas in 2010 was the team that came the closest, and he quite underwhelmed for them by scoring only four goals in 2,400 minutes. It might be a stretch to call the team that set the all-time ties record a 'great' team, too.)

That's why it was a surprise to see him start on opening day. Harris started off with a few decent performances in 2013, with his apex coming after a two-goal performance against Dallas. As it goes with Harris though, he dropped off like a rock and Oscar Pareja continued to put him on the field regardless, likely hoping that whatever spark Harris had shown early on would return.

Here's part of the reason it didn't: as the Rapids evolved their tactics into the 'deep possession, speedy break-out' 4-2-3-1 that got them into the playoffs, Harris continued to get minutes, but it clearly wasn't a good system for him. Eventually, he started in the playoffs against Seattle and looked awful as the Rapids failed to create much of anything near the top of the field.

Keeping Atiba around for 2014 isn't a terrible idea by the Rapids; he provides a good option to add more size to a forward corps, always a good option when chasing a lead late. Next year, he'll probably do the same thing he always does, score three to five goals. I'm just hoping that he doesn't get 2,000 minutes to do it in again next year.