Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rapids All-Time Team: Bench

The bench is kind of the "Honorable Mention" category of the All-Time team. Players (and coaches) that were in the running but didn't quite make the cut.

Marcus Hahnemann - GK (1997-1999): Hahnemann was the first player that developed at the Rapids and moved on to better pastures. Marcus stepped in after a bad 1996 season and gave the team a rock to build from.

Jason Bent - D (1998-2000): Bent has been the only player to really claim the left back spot for more than a season. While the skill level of the league has passed the level he played at, at his time he was solid player out wide and going forward.

Drew Moor - D (2009-present): Honestly if I had done this list next year Moor probably would have been a starter. He hadn't missed a game as a Rapid until late this season, and his goal-line clearance at the end of MLS Cup preserved our first championship.

Aitor Karanka - D (2006): Karanka had more skill than any defender we've seen on a Rapids uniform. The only 3-time Champions League winner to ever play for the Rapids he brought a wealth of experience, and even showed up at the start of training camp in 2007 hoping to work out a new contract even though the team didn't want him.

Dedi Ben Dayan - M (2005-2006): Ben Dayan was electric on the left side of midfield. He was dangerous every time he touched the ball. Eventually though he returned home to his family in Israel, making for a far too short career in Colorado.

Carlos 'El Pibe' Valderrama - M (2001-2002): Probably the biggest name (and certainly the biggest hair) not to make the starting XI. El Pibe was the best player in MLS in its first decade and even in his final year in Colorado he was still hitting pinpoint passes to the forwards. The one knock against him was that it seemed like he never moved outside a 20 yard circle all game, and played almost no defense.

Paul Bravo - F (1997-2001): The only member of the Gallery of Honor not to make the starting XI, Bravo was the closest thing the Rapids had to an offensive powerhouse in their first 5-6 years. Until Conor Casey arrived Bravo held most of the team scoring records. Now he serves as the team's Technical Director. If I could have figured out a way to put 4 forwards on the field I would have.

Glenn 'Mooch' Myernick - Coach (1997 - 2000): As I said in my post about Gary Smith, Mooch was the only other head coach even in the running for this list. Until Gary Smith's MLS Cup win last year Mooch was the only coach to take the team to a final, and his record is second only to Smith's. Sadly Mooch passed away in 2006.

John Murphy - Coach (2006 - 2008): Murphy was largely credited for the Rapids great draft classes in 2006 and 2007, and coaching the reserve teams to their Reserve Championships in 2006 and 2007. Those teams produced players like Omar Cummings, Kosuke Kimura, Nick Labrocca, Bouna Coundoul, and Jordan Harvey.

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