Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rapids All-Time Team: All-Around Forward

The starting all-around forward for the Rapids All-Time Team is John Spencer.

How Acquired: Transferred for free from Scottish side Motherwell.

Years In Colorado: 2001 through 2004

How Departed: Retired after the 2004 season.

For the final player pick on the All-Time team I went with possibly the biggest heart the team has ever had (though Kimura gives him a run for his money) the wee Scotsman John Spencer. The heart and soul of the Rapids in the early 2000s, Spencer was the face of the team under Tim Hankinson. His fiery play led the team and made him a fan favorite.

In his first season Spencer scored 14 goals in 22 games, a Rapids record for goals in a season (since broken by Conor Casey), and was named to the league's Best XI squad. After an injury-plagued 2002 he repeated his 14 goal total in 2003, once again making the league Best XI and becoming one of the finalists for the MVP award. Spencer scored the first hat-trick in Colorado history, and he still ranks in the top 3 in most of the Rapids goal-scoring records. He is probably the best international player ever found by the Rapids, with Anders Limpar being his only real competition for that title.

Beyond the numbers Spencer brought a level of emotion to the field rarely seen in Colorado. As a fan you knew that he was giving it all for every minute he was playing, and he would have nothing left when he came off the pitch. Not only that, but woe be to the referee or opposing player who Spenny thought had done him or his Rapids teammates wrong. Somehow he had a way of showing his...displeasure...with whomever ticked him off without looking like he was losing it like Pablo often does. He was rightfully named captain most of the time he was in Colorado and was the team leader on the field.

That wraps up the starting lineup for the Rapids All-Time Team. This series is not over though as there are other positions still to be named.

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