Monday, February 20, 2017

Time Is Running Out If there's To Be Another Significant Signing

We are now 12 days from the season opener.  The team seems to be coming together in Phoenix with the addition of Nana and Gashi returning from injury.  There hasn't been much addition to this team from 2016 however.  Two new homegrown players, Gordon who's likely to be a super-sub, and Nana along with some draftees (probably, no signings yet).  There's been hope that the FO will unveil another signing out of nowhere like they did with Gashi last season but with 12 days to go it seems to be getting close to too late, at least for being ready and in sync with the team on opening day.

After the disastrous 2015 season the Rapids let 10 players go and then traded Irwin and Sarvas and loaned out Ramirez.  2015 was a bad team so there needed to be a lot of turnover..  That said, they signed every non-rookie player available on opening day by February 14th last year (with the trade to acquire Miller).  That was Azira, Pappa, Pfeffer, Gashi, Williams, C. Doyle, and Miller.  7 players with profession experience to replace 13.  Then later on we added three draftees, Jones, and eventually Howard.

After the great 2016 season the Rapids let 6 players go and then traded Greenspan.  So 7 total players out.  So far we have had 2 players with professional experience added, 2 homegrowns, and probably a draftee or two.  So we're likely to fill the empty spots though we finished 2016 without a full roster and the rosters have been expanded with a couple of homegrown roster spots so there's still room to sign more.

So from a quantity perspective we're probably fine depending on the number of draftees that get offer.  From a quality perspective though things seem more tenuous.  Last offseason we replaced 13 players with 8 (9 once Howard got here midseason) non-rookies.  About 2/3rds of the open slots.  This year with 7 players to replace from last year we've signed 2 experienced players, less than 1/3rd.  Obviously the quality of the remaining players is significantly improved from the remaining 2015 players so you could make the case we don't need as much help and I'd agree with you...on defense.

Its no secret that our offense last year was horrible.  A great (historic at home) defense combined with just enough well-timed goals got us to the 2nd best record and the conference finals but just a few more goals would have gotten us the Supporters Shield or a MLS Cup spot.  So far this offseason our purely offensive additions have been Alan Gordon, who's best use is a super-sub off the bench late in games.

Nana is somebody who could control the midfield and give us some momentum going forward but he's not a true attacker and will most likely play out of one of the defensive midfield spots in the 4-2-3-1.  Ford is a central defender and while Perez is a more attacking mid relying on him to kick start the offense is asking a lot of a rookie.

Looking at this I think we need another signing.  Somebody who can fill the hole left by Jones or who can take over the right wing spot (something we were looking for last offseason as well).  Without it I fear we will struggle in attack again this season, regardless of the focus the team us putting on it this preseason.

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