Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pareja Leaving, Harris Traded, Cabrera Out?

First the coaching drama.  Newest updates from Chris Bianchi on Twitter:
Pareja is still officially coach. But he’s not coming back. Zero chance. Zilch. Nada.
Not for sure, but I’d expect something by Friday. RT : any word on when this might officially be resolved?
Also today from Ives (who struck out on the last Rapids coach leaving rumor, so take with a grain of salt:
Sources tell me Chivas USA closing in on making Colorado assistant Wilmer Cabrera new head coach. Final decision expected soon
So that pretty much tells us that Pareja is on his way to Dallas and Cabrera won't be his replacement.  At this point I figure that's going on is either Dallas and Colorado are still agreeing on the compensation for buying out Pareja or the Rapids are trying to get the deal done with the new head coach before letting Pareja go.

The only new "rumor" on a possible replacement beyond Robin Fraser (meh) or John Spencer (no!) is the idea that they might be looking at Julio and/or Jorge Dely Valdes.  There's been no leak of this information or anything but a number of different people are talking about how it would be a good move, so I think there's a little smoke here.  Most recently the Dely Valdes twins have been leading Panama (Julio as head coach, Jorge as assistant and youth coach) but Julio was fired and Jorge demoted just to youth coach after Panama failed to qualify for the World Cup.  Jorge played in Colorado for 2 years in 1999 and 2000 and was a fan favorite, scoring 17 goals in 52 games.  The twins were also reportedly influential in finally getting Gabriel Torres to Colorado.

This feel like a real long shot to me, but if the Rapids were to pull it off it would be the MLS equivalent of Washington losing Steve Sarkisian and signing Chris Petersen last month.  Either or both would be the first names I've seen to replace Pareja that I feel like might be an upgrade.

Also on the coaching front, Jamie Smith was spotted at the Rapids local combine the last two days on the sidelines with a clipboard helping to evaluate players.  Don't be surprised if he's added as an assistant coach or player/coach this year.

On to the actual news and not rumors of the day.  The Rapids traded Atiba Harris to San Jose for Martin Chavez.  The Rapids will reportedly also pick up some of Harris' 2014 salary.  Even with that this is a win for Colorado.  Its no secret that I thought picking up Harris last year was a bat move and that I think Harris is a hack, so getting a player like Chavez, who, when healthy, can be an all-star player is a steal.  Chavez had injury problems last year and apparently made it known that he wasn't happy with the coaches at the end of the season.

Both players make about the same amount of money and both have green cards, so the only real difference in cap and roster hits is the amount of Harris' salary we're eating.  Chavez is more of a true winger than Harris was so he'll slot right into Harris old spot on the wing and start whipping in crosses, taking on players on the dribble, and taking free kicks.

Bianchi also reports the following on the trade:
Bravo/FO. Not Oscar. RT : in charge? So did he make the Atiba-Chavez trade or was that Bravo or both?
So apparently the FO is already moving on.

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