Sunday, November 4, 2018

Taking Stock And Moving On

Yes, after 3 months I'm back.  I needed the break from the blog with how bad this season was, I don't think I would have made it if I were doing game previews/reviews and news analysis on a regular basis.  That would have been far too much negativity to handle.

We're moving forward now though, hopefully I still have some readers at this point.  Unlike most years I'm not going to do a player of the year, a season recap, or a keep/trade/cut roster analysis.  The focus going forward will be looking at the steps the Rapids take to improve, not looking back at this disaster of a season.

Before we do that though, this one statistical post of how bad this season was.  I'm going to list all the ways this team sucked, then wrap it up, put it away, and never look at it again.

One note, pretty much all of these statistics ignore the first four years of the league when the shootout was used to break ties.  The further away we get from that time period the less those stats are going to be relevant anyway.

2018 Statistics:

  • Second worst point total ever (23 in 2001)
  • Second worst points per game ever - 0.912 (.88 in 2001)*

* - I've spent the latter half of the season saying this is likely our worst season ever.  It turns out the list I've been working from had the wrong pts/game total listed for 2001, and has had it wrong since it was first posted in 2014.  This turned out to only be the second worst season.

  • Second worst total number of wins - 8 (5 wins in 2001 with only 26 games)
  • Longest losing streaks in Rapids history - 8 and 7 games (not including the USOC loss)
  • Worst loss in team history - 6-0 to FSL (this ties the infamous Joe Nasco game in LA but I'd argue that losing at home to your rival is wore than losing to the league's premier team on the road)
  • Most goals allowed - 63 (62 in 2014)
  • Worst goal differential - -27 (-20 in 2017)
  • Lowest ever goal total for Golden Boot winner - 4 by Tommy Smith (Jovan Kirovski, 6, 2007)
I'll stop there.  Needless to say it was a horrible season.  Time to look to 2019.  I expect things to be quiet for a couple of weeks but if there's news I'll post.  Otherwise when we start getting information about contract options and such we'll get into roster planning for next season.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Catching Up On News

There's been a few pieces of news this week:

  • First, Azira has been loaned to the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.  Considering Wilson has been crap as a dmid I don't know why we're doing this but so be it.
  • Secondly, we sent our extra international spot back to Minnesota for $50K in General Allocation Money (GAM).  We got this spot from Minnesota in the Nicholson trade.  They send us Nicholson and the international spot, we sent them Miller and $50K in GAM.  So really we gave up Miller for Nicholson and an international spot for 3 months at this point.  Still a decent trade.
  • next Thursday at 6:30pm Padraig Smith will be doing another online town hall.  Questions can be submitted in the Rapids subreddit.  More details here.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Acosta Trade Is Better Than First Reports

So the Acosta trade was made official today, as expected, and it was actually better than first thought.  Let's list it all out first:

Colorado gets:

  • M Kellyn Acosta, who's under contract through 2018 with team held options for 2019 and 2020
  • Dallas' first round 2019 pick
  • Dallas' second round 2019 pick, conditionally
  • 50% of any sale of Badji if sold before the end of the summer 2020 transfer window
Dallas gets:
  • F Dominique Badji
  • International slot through the end of 2019
  • Colorado's first round 2019 pick
  • 50% of any sale of Acosta if sold before end of the summer 2020 transfer window
  • 33% of any sale of Acosta if sold after the summer 2020 transfer window
The condition on Dallas' second round 2019 pick is based on how far down we drop going from our first round pick's to Dallas'.  If its a small drop they keep the pick, if its a large drop we get it ( no info on where the break point is was released).

To me the real key differences in what was reported last night was the fact that Acosta's deal goes through 2020, along with getting picks back and part of any sale of Badji in the near future.  Odds our those latter opportunities don't pay out much but it allows us to hedge our bets a bit.

In then end this is a medium-risk/high-reward trade for the Rapids.  Best case scenario is that Acosta finds his old form, elevates the team at least through 2019, and then we either sell him for a large transfer fee (as he's been clear he wants to go to Europe) or he decides he likes it here and re-signs.  Both outcomes are wins for the Rapids.  Worst case, he doesn't find his old form, he's an average MLS midfielder, and we get him on a lesser deal or we trade him away again.  Not great but the real loss in the move would be Badji, who has largely plateaued here anyway.  And if he suddenly gets better and is bought we get half of that.

Acosta flew in early this morning, was at training today, and may play against Boca Juniors tomorrow.  Hopefully we see him start on the 4th against LA (starting on Saturday in DC might be asking too much).

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Rapids To Announce Significant Trade At Noon Tomorrow

The Rapids have announced a press conference tomorrow at noon, and its presumably to announce the trade that broke tonight (and that I've been hearing about for about a week an a half).  Assuming reported details are correct here's the swap:

Colorado gets: M Kellyn Acosta
Dallas gets: F Dominique Badji, an international spot through 2019, our first round pick in 2019, and part of any transfer fee if Acosta is sold

Acosta is a 22 year old homegrown player who has 116 appearances for Dallas and 17 caps for the U. S. National Team.  He's fallen out of favor in Dallas due to injury and a disagreement with Oscar Pareja over his best position.  He wanted to make the jump to Europe but Dallas never received a good enough offer for him.

This deal is a lot to pay but Acosta is a great addition to this team. This is an all-in move though. If the Rapids juju gets him and he fizzles out its going to be overpaying and another massive mistake. If he keeps playing like he has at the MLS and international level though, he's somebody you build the midfield around. Overall I like the move, but its not a total slam dunk.

This is clearly a 2019 and future move. I don't believe we have a striker lined up to replace Badji right now but I don't think we care. 2018 is a write-off at this point and we'll have to muddle through with Barnes, Boli, McBean, and Gashi.  We need to sign the right striker for 2019 and beyond, not worry about the rest of 2018 and make an emergency move.

One concern is that Transfermarkt has Acosta's contract expiring at the end of the season (and he signed a new contract at the end of 2015, so a 3-year deal would be about right). So this move better include signing a new contract.  Paying this much for a rent-a-player that jets for Europe at the end of the season would be a disaster.

I'll update tomorrow if the deal is any different than what's been reported tonight.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Badji Away, Rapids Playing A Friendly In Memphis

Two pieces of news this week.

  • Badji is back in Senegal finalizing his green card
Lousy timing, what with the Rocky Mountain Cup this week, but the government offices involve set the timing and the Rapids have no control.  He's not expected to make it back in time for Saturday's game.  On the plus side, we have 2 international slots open now.
  • Rapids will play the USL's Tulsa Roughnecks FC in a friendly Sept. 1st in Memphos
This is a kickoff event for Memphis' USL team that will start play next season.  Since they were announced in January Tim Howard, a Memphis resident in the offseason, has been a special adviser to the team.  They'll be unveiling the team logo and such as part of the event.  The Rapids were invited, obviously, because of Howard and will presumably be getting paid for the appearance.  I'm not sure why Tulsa was invited, unless they just happen to be one of the USL teams that have a bye that weekend (the Rapids have a bye because its an international weekend).