Thursday, September 19, 2019

Expansion Draft 2020

I know we're not through the season yet but the league just announced the rules for this year's expansion draft for Nashville and Miami entering the league next season.  In short:

  • Each expansion team will get 5 picks
  • No team can lose more than one player
  • Teams that lost players to Cincinnati last year can't lose a player this year
  • Teams can protect up to 12 of their players (an increase from the normal 11)
  • Homegrown players 25 years old or younger and Generation Adidas players who have not graduated are automatically protected on top of the 12 protected players
  • Teams must protect at least 3 internationals, unless they have 3 or less, then they have to protect at least all but one
  • All players on the roster at the end of the season count as on the roster, even if they've already been told they're cut for 2020
  • Retired players don't count but if a retired player is not protected the team loses their rights to them should they un-retire
So, based on that, here's my take on who the Rapids should protect, for a couple of different scenarios:

Automatically protected as homegrown players 25 years old or younger:

Anderson, Bassett, Ford, Hundley, Raben, Serna, Vines

Automatically protected as GA, if he doesn't graduate from the program:


Required 3 internationals protected:

Mezquida, Price, Shinyashiki

Remaining 9 protected slots if we sign Abubakar before the draft:

Abubakar, Acosta, Irwin, Jackson, Kamara, Nicholson, Rosenberry, Rubio, Smith

Remaining 9 protected slots if we don't sign Abubakar before the draft:

Swap out Abubakar for Rwatubyaye

Remaining 9 protected slots if we sign Abubakar before the draft and Lewis graduates from GA:

Swap out Jackson for Lewis

Remaining 9 protected slots if we don't sign Abubakar before the draft and Lewis graduates from GA:

Swap out Abubakar for Lewis

This leaves the following players unprotected, and at most we could lose one of them to either Nashville or Miami: Blomberg, Howard, Opare, Rawls, Sjoberg, Wilson, Wynne, plus possibly Jackson and Rwatubyaye

I would say most of these decisions are self explanatory.  Blomberg is gone and Howard is retiring.  Opare, Rawls, and Wynne are MLS bench fodder where ever they play so there's no point in protecting them.  Sadly at this point Sjoberg falls into that category as well.  Wilson is just far too expensive for what he brings so there's no threat he'll be taken and if he were it would actually help us.

That leaves Jackson, Rwatubyaye, and, IMO, Smith as the three players fighting for the last 1-3 slots depending on the statuses of Abubakar and Lewis.  I ranked Smith as the most valuable because of a change in the expansion draft rules.  Smith is on a team option for 2020 and in the past if a player on a team option was selected in the expansion draft it meant that the expansion team was automatically exercising the player's option.  This year the rule changes and the expansion team can decline the option and keep the player's rights to renegotiate his contract.  That makes Smith more valuable if an expansion team thinks they can get him to take a lower number.

Jackson versus Rwatubyaye is a bit of a toss up but I prioritized Jackson as he has shown some ability to play in MLS, Rwatubyaye hasn't gotten a shot yet.

The expansion draft will be held on November 19th.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

TFC Wrap-Up

Sadly, due to the fight between KSE and the TV providers, my view of the Toronto game was janky at best.  So its hard for me to draw many conclusions from the match.  It was great to see the fight back from the team, less good to see Kamara missing great chances like the PK.  Altidore should have seen red for taking Abubakar out like that.  You could justify a yellow but given his track record the refs just keep letting him get away with things.  Sam Vines hadn't practiced since Tuesday due to illness and it showed, he was caught out of position more than once.

On to KC and another game not easily available.  My game recaps are going to be pretty slim the rest of the season unless they solve this, except for the home Dallas game.  If they haven't solved it by next season I'll figure out a more reliable way to watch going forward.

Rapids To Hold Memorial For Colin Clark Tomorrow Night

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (September 16, 2019) – Colorado Rapids will hold a memorial service in honor of former player, Colin Clark on September 18, 2019 at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park.  The service will be open to the public.

WHAT:  The Colorado Rapids will hold a memorial service for the family, friends, and fans of Colin Clark, a former Rapids player and Colorado native.  Clark passed away on August 26, 2019 at 35 years old.  The midfielder made 138 appearances (97 starts), scored 15 goals, and garnered 13 assists over his eight-year career in Major League Soccer. Clark played for the Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, and LA Galaxy as well as registered one cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

WHO:  The service will be open to the public.

WHEN:  Wednesday, September 18, 2019
                Doors open at 6:30PM
Service at 7:00PM

WHERE:  DICK’S Sporting Goods Park
                  6000 Victory Way, Commerce City, CO 80022
                  Event Entrance through Eighteen76 on south side of the stadium

                For those unable to attend, the memorial will be streamed live on

ATTIRE:  Soccer gear attire; attendees who have Colin Clark jerseys are encouraged to wear them

CONTACT:  For questions or inquiries, please contact  

Please Note:  Anyone with still images, footage of Colin Clark are asked to share these pieces with the club to be used in tribute to his memory and career at the Memorial.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Rapids In Colorado North, aka Toronto, on Sunday

There are a lot of links between the Rapids and Toronto.  Obviously it was the sight of our greatest triumph.  Also the only person missing from the Gallery of Honor, Drew Moor, is still playing in Toronto.  Clint Irwin is returning to Toronto after coming back to Colorado this year.  One of the biggest is, of course, our new manager.  Robin Fraser had spent the last few years in the great White North as an assistant before taking the Rapids job 3 weeks ago.  All of that comes together on Sunday as the Rapids travel north for their final trip across the border this season.  Game time is 3pm, and the game is on Altitude, which doesn't mean much for most of us.  There is a rumor that there might be a workaround available at the Celtic for people who want to watch the game, otherwise I'll leave it up to everyone to figure out which solution they like the best.

Injury Report:
OUT: D Kortne Ford; D Deklan Wynne
QUESTIONABLE: GK Tim Howard; M Jon Lewis

Disciplinary Report:
SUSPENDED: M Jack Price (yellow card accumulation)

Apparently the Rapids and the Chilean FA arranged it that Rubio could be in Colorado for one of the last two games (I think it was Saturday's) so he could serve his suspension.  Nicely done getting that arranged.  There's been no updated injury report for a week but Ford and Wynne seem to be done for the season and Howard seems to be perpetually questionable at this point so I felt comfortable making my own.  Lewis pulled up with a hamstring injury on Saturday that reportedly wasn't significant but he wasn't in the 18 on Wednesday so I added him as Questionable.

This seems logical, though asking Smith and Abubakar to go 3 full games this week in the middle might be a bit much.  We might see Wilson instead of Smith or something.

Prediction: 2-2 draw.  Goals by Kamara and Shinyashiki.  I'm feeling optimistic right now and I think even on the road we can get a point.  Both teams have good offenses and average or worse defenses so I expect a high scoring game.  I think Kamara comes back after a long break and starts scoring again and I'm not sure who can slow Shinyashiki down right now.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Zlatan Who?

The Rapids finally got a look at Zlatan for the first time in a while and, well, meh.  He certainly didn't look as good as Andre Shinyashiki.  That, combined with some great goalkeeping on both sides and maybe a little of help from the officials got the Rapids their 3rd straight victory, though they did concede their first goal under Fraser in route to the 2-1 win.  That's 9 points and a +5 GD in the 3 games Fraser has been in charge.

Also this.  In 43 games in charge Hudson earned 33 points.  In the 21 games since then with Casey and Fraser in charge they've earned 34 points.  if you ever doubted the importance of coaching in MLS, don't.

Random Musings:

  • Both goalkeepers were on fire last night.  On a different day that's a 4-3 game and I'm not sure who wins.
  • With Kamara out the last three games Shinyashiki is making his claim to the Rookie of the Year award.  I still think he comes up a little short but he's looking more mature than his age.
  • Danny Wilson and Tommy Smith as our centerbacks was a recipe for disaster last year.  This year we start them against Ibra and somehow the Lion is more like a mouse.  Again, coaching matters.
  • In 4 games against Zlatan's Galaxy the Rapids have 3 wins and 1 draw
  • Zlatan only played in 2 of those 4 games, in those games he had a combined 8 shots, only 1 on goal.
  • Apparently Fraser called Abubakar into the office yesterday to ask if he had ever played right back.  Lalas said no, and Fraser told him that due to Vines being sick he was playing their last night.  At times he looked more like a winger than a right back but it worked!
  • Price's late yellow means he won't make the trip to Toronto on Sunday.
  • How about Sjoberg getting an appearance just to mark out Ibra for the last part of the game?  That has to be huge for the Swede.
  • Ok, lets talk about the calls.  I think the Rapids got one more beneficial call than the Galaxy.  The Rapids PK, the reversed red card, and the non-LA PK were all on the light side.  I think you call all three or you call none of them.  The ref called one (our PK).  I think, if you set the bar that the touch on Shinyashiki is a foul then the hack on him later is clearly a red and Wilson's boot to the face is a PK.  But if you decide that Andre flopped originally all three fouls get downgraded to no call (or a yellow for the foul in the corner).
  • That said. the Rapids have gotten their fair share of bad calls this season.  Barring a hand of God (or 5th Down for you CU fans) I tend to think calls balance out over the course of a season.  The LA fans who have "lost faith" in the league over last night are a joke and shows just how long the Galaxy have had "favored child" status when it comes to officiating.
Man of the Match: Clint Irwin.  Had a spectacular night and saved us on more than one occasion.