Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CCL Draw, Preseason Plans, and Castillo Incoming?

Lots of news aside from Hudson today.  Taking it roughly in order.

CONCACAF announced the draw for the 2018 CCL today.  Colorado will be the one MLS/Liga MX team in Pot B, the other 8 teams will be in Pot 1.  Under the competition rules we can't be drawn against an American team in the first round so we know our opponent will be one of Toronto, Chivas, Club America, Tigres, or Tijuana.  Colorado will host the first leg as the Pot B. team.

The seeding were based on the results of the teams in each slot over the last 5 CCL competitions.  So as the team in the USA4 slot our pot placement was based on the CCL results of the last 5 teams in the USA4 slot.  That results in us being in a tie with Dallas, the USA2 slot holder, for the final spot in Pot A but presumably, since USA2 is a "higher" spot than USA4, they got the final pot A spot.

The draw will be on Dec. 18th with the games in late February.  I don't love our chances but a home snowstorm at altitude might be a nice equalizer.

That was followed by this tweet from Spanish sports reporter John E. Rojas that the rumor linking U.S. Nat Edgar Castillo to the Rapids will be come a reality in the next few days.  Castillo is a 31 year old left back who has played his whole career in Mexico and played for the Mexican Nats before making a one time switch to the U.S. in 2009.  He played somewhat regularly for the Nats between 2009-2013 (but not in the World Cup) including in the 1-0 win at the Azteca.  He appeared once in 2014 and then in both qualifiers against Guatemala in 2016.

This would be a huge upgrade at left back, one of the biggest holes the Rapids have.  At 31 he's not a long-term prospect but he still should have 3 or so good seasons in him.  This would be a solid move for the FO and a good sign that they are addressing areas of need.

Finally the end of the Denver Post article about the Hudson signing had some information about our preseason plans.  Camp will open on Jan. 22nd, the earliest day allowed by the CBA, and on the 24th the team will head to Casa Grande for an intense preseason camp to prepare for the CCL.  The team will participate in the Desert Diamond Cup but depending on the CCL schedule it may be a split squad that gets left behind in Tucson while the first team returns to Denver and/or goes on the road for the legs of the CCL.

I'm glad to see the team has a plan already in place to deal with the tight time window between the allowed start of preseason and the CCL.  Its not much, you think every team would have this figured out, but in the past the Rapids FO, at least publicly, hasn't always seemed that organized about preseason matters.

That's all for today, which is plenty.  I love having an active FO in the offseason, its a nice change, but a little more spacing of the major announcements  would be appreciated.  :D

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