Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lack Of A Striker Looms Over Rapids

No, not that type of striker

Today started with a rumor that the Rapids were chasing Preston Eoin Doyle, only for it to get squashed in a matter of hours as he was loaned back to Oldham before the English transfer window closed at the end of the day.  In ended with news that attacking draft picks Brian Iloski and Frantzdy Pierrot are passing up their chance to make MLS for trials in Europe.  In-between Colorado scrimmaged Columbus to a 2-1 loss, more on that tomorrow.  The only new name in the scrimmage was midfielder Enzo Martinez who has been a USL player for the last 5 seasons, the last 3 with Colorado affiliate Charlotte.

Now this offseason has brought a solid rebuild of the defense for the new formation, good upgrades in midfield, and no help in attack.  The Rapids have been linked with forwards Eion Doyle, Claudiu Keseru, Lee Nguyen, Ross McCormack, and Aldo Kalulu.  That's just the names from the last month.  Notice something about them?  None of them are here.  We had a Front Office that set a goal of having all the key components signed by last Monday when camp started and we have yet to sign a striker with any type of top-level experience.  We currently have a total of three signed forwards, two of which have played more than 2/3rds of their career appearances in USL games and have five MLS goals between them.

We have a CCL game in 20 days.  Anyone we sign from outside the league is going to need a week or so to get moved over to the U.S., get paperwork done, etc.  That means if we announce somebody tomorrow the best we can hope fir is about a week and half to get to know the team before our match.  Realistically the only one of those names that might be close is Keseru and we've heard no rumors in the least week or so that a signing is imminent.  So more than likely we're looking at a week and a half before we can expect a striker to be training with the team, about a week before the CCL game.

This offseason has shown new purpose and focus from the Front Office, but it won't pay off if there's nobody to score goals.  Until this hole is filled this team is going to be incomplete and our hopes for the CCL and 2018 season short lived.  We don't need a home run signing but, to torture the analogy, we need a least a double that can be stretched into a triple.   This isn't an easy thing to do, the last time the Rapids signed an double-digit scorer from outside the league (not traded for or drafted) the year was 2001 and the player was John Spencer (who would also score double-digits in 2003), but it a must have if the team is going to be successful and if the fanbase is going to have faith in the new leadership.

Signed Players:
* = international
HG = homegrown
DP = designated player

GK Tm Howard - DP
GK Zac MacMath
D Edgar Castillo
D Kip Colvey
D Mike da Fonte
D Kortne Ford - HG
D Marlon Hairston
D Eric Miller
D Axel Sjoberg
D Tommy Smith*
D Jared Watts
D Danny Wilson*
D Deklan Wynne*
M Bismark Adjei-Boateng*
M Stefan Aigner*
M Michael Azira
M Johan Blomberg*
M Shkelzen Gashi* - DP
M Sam Hamilton
M Ricardo Perez - HG
M Jack Price*
M Dillon Serna - HG
F Dominique Badji*
F Caleb Calvert - HG
F Jack McBean

Unsigned Draftees:
GK Thomas Olsen
F Niki Jackson
F Alan Winn

Trialists:
M Enzo Martinez

1 comment:

Mark Weatherley said...

Boy are the Rapids close to having a good to very good off season. Just missing a striker or two. Without completing the signing or two of a striker then it's going to be really frustrating going into the season. They've put together a very good looking back three for the Hudson's system and have what looks like two very good wing backs. Jack Price as the holding midfielder to go with Aigner in the midfield looks to be solid at the least. But without at least one double-digit scorer how much will it all matter?