Monday, November 29, 2010

Kudos To The Rapids Front Office

We've all talked at length about the great run the Rapids made this year. Cummings was clearly the MVP. Pablo had his best season ever as the Rapids captain. The young backline came together to allow just 3 goals in 420 minutes of playoff soccer. What we haven't talked as much about is how well the Front Office did putting this team together.

Part of this is a mea culpa. Regular readers will remember in August when I ripped Jeff Plush for an interview he gave to Of particular note I pointed out his belief that DP's hadn't been proven to be winners was wrong, and how I felt like he was using it as an excuse for not improving the team. I followed that up with a post about how the Rapids wouldn't go anywhere with other team's cast-offs.


OK, I was wrong. Badly wrong. Of the 14 players that played in the MLS Cup final, 10 of them were acquired by the Rapids from other MLS teams. One of the two other Rapids that played at least half the minutes this season was acquired from another team. It appears that the Rapids went quite far with the other team's cast-offs! The Rapids took two draftees (Cummings and Kimura), added in a pair of players found in England (Baudet, and Smith), threw in one USL player (Earls) and covered it all with a group of MLS players that their former teams either didn't want, or had to give up for other reasons. The Rapids Front Office clearly made a decision to use this strategy, and executed it well. While I'm sure there were many people working on it, I assume that the heads of this plan were Jeff Plush, Paul Bravo, and Gary Smith and they, and everyone else involved, deserve a hearty congratulations for their success.

Not 72 hours after the championship they were at it again. They traded away two players that, while valuable, were more expendable than others in order to protect most of our starting XI in the Expansion Draft. This was followed up by putting deals in place prior to the draft that would allow the Rapids to keep the rest of their players protected and/or get them returned to the team in exchanged for allocation money. The cherry on top was picking up another MLS cast-off, Sanna Nyassi, for next year's team.

I won't promise not to be critical of the Front Office in the future, but I will be giving them more credit. I may not have done enough of that this year.

1 comment:

Jester said...

I have to agree. Although, they do still get a lot of things wrong, at least they're now doing the right things wrong;). I do have to give them credit for the job they did with the conference final as well. Selling out that game, in 5 days, with bitterly cold forecasts, was very impressive. And very suprising, if we're completely honest.