Today Denver South's Conor Casey, the best striker ever to wear a Rapids jersey, announced his retirement. Casey started his pro career in Germany in 2000 after a year at the University of Portland. He spent 7 seasons there before coming home (after a couple of months of being held hostage in Toronto) to play for the Rapids in May of 2007. After a quiet first season with only 2 goals Conor lit the league on fire the next 3+ years, scoring 46 goals in 86 regular-season appearances. The only player in MLS who scored more in that period was Landon Donovan.
Casey also scored 2 playoff goals in 2010. His first tied the Eastern Conference semi-final series with Columbus at 2-2 in the 84th minute of the second leg. He would go on to hit the first of the 5 PK's the Rapids would hit in winning the tiebreaker. His second, of course, is one of the top 5 goals in Rapids history as he leveled MLS Cup at 1-1 in the first half. He would also have an unofficial assist on the winning goal as it was his pass to Mac Kandji that let Kandji get in deep and force the own goal. He was named MVP of MLS Cup (well, actually his twin Casey Conor got the award).
After blowing out his Achilles tendon on a grass overlay field in Seattle in 2011 he missed the rest of the season and part of the 2012 season. At the end of that year the Rapids decided to go another direction and Casey moved to Philly, then Columbus for this past season before retirement.
Casey's 50 goals as a Rapid is a team record, 11 better than Bravo and Cummings who are tied for second. Conor did it in 16 less games than Bravo though. His strike rate of a goal about every 2 and third game is tied with John Spencer for best in team history. He's 3rd in game winning goals (behind Bravo and Spencer), 2nd in multi-goal games (behind Bravo), and first in PK goals (by 1). He's also in the top 10 for appearances as a Rapid. From 2009-2011 his partnership with Omar Cummings (the C+C Goal Factory) was the most dynamic and exciting strike duo Colorado has ever had.
I fully expect that at a game next season we will be adding Conor Casey's name to the Gallery of Honor next to Balboa, Bravo, Henderson, Spencer, and Mastroeni. To not do so would be ignoring one of the greatest to ever wear the jersey.
He runs as though his boots were lead
He puts a razor to his head
He used to play in Germany
But now he's back at DSG
Since we're talking about MLS Cup here's a brief update on the 14 players who played for the Rapids in that game:
Matt Pickens - Currently with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in (as of 2 days ago) the USL
Kosuke Kimura - Currently with Rayo OKC in the NASL, though there's a good chance the team won't make it to next season
Drew Moor - Currently in the playoffs with Toronto FC
Marvell Wynne - Currently with the San Jose Earthquakes
Anthony Wallace - Currently with the Jacksonville Armada in the NASL
Jeff Larentowicz - Will be suited up on the other sideline in Sunday's Colorado-LA playoff game
Pablo Mastroeni - Will be wearing a suit on our sideline in Sunday's Colorado-LA playoff game
Brian Mullan - A community ambassador and assistant coach for Colorado
Jamie Smith - Youth Academy Director for Trevian Soccer Club outside Chicago
Omar Cummings - Currently with FC Cincinnati in the USL
Conor Casey - See above
Julian Baudet - Last update was a while ago when he was coaching an amateur side in France
Wells Thompson - Retired and running soccer camps in North Carolina
Macoumba Kandji - Free agent after leaving his Finnish team at the beginning of 2016