Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Staff, Player Rumors, and Superdraft Week

I know I've been quiet this past week but in terms of actual news, not rumors, not much has happened.

Starting with the notable news, both Edgar Castillo and Jack Price were officially announced on Tuesday and Friday respectfully.  Castillo is here on a one year loan with an option to buy.  Price's length of contract was not announced but multiple sources in the UK have reported its a 4 year deal.

That leaves us with 23 of 30 roster spots filled and all 7 international slots used.

Padraig Smith and Wayne Brant had their interim tags removed this week.  Smith is now the Gm and executive VP and will oversee all soccer-related activities while Brant is the senior Vp of business operations and will oversee all business and other non-soccer related activities.

There were two new Front Office additions this week.  Fran Taylor was named assistant GM, coming over from stat DNA and shows additional commitment to the stats/numbers based approach to the game that the Front Office has talked about since Smith arrived.  Chad Kolarcik joins the Rapids as the head of sports science & performance, coming over from the Sounders where he was the head strength & conditioning coach.  He'll be expected to revamp the conditioning aspects of the team with the newest findings.  There was a murmur of discontent from the Front Office last season about how the team's health and conditioning were handled and this seems to indicate that the new leadership has different ideas about how it should be handled.

We also had a couple of big player rumors this week, neither one appears to have panned out.  I had heard that Colorado had been perusing Mexican center back Oswaldo Alanis who's currently at Chivas but it appears he's going to wait for the summer window and try to move to Europe.  It sounds like he'd consider Colorado then if Europe doesn't work out.  It was also reported that the Rapids had taken the lead in acquiring Ola Kamara but yesterday the reports were that he's looking for something more coastal with more opportunity and the Rapids are moving on.  That's toom bad as Kamara is exactly the type of player we need.  The last rumor is that we're interested in New England's Lee Nguyen which has potential but it would be a move away from the 3-5-2 we have apparently been planning for this offseason as the planned formation doesn't really have a spot for a #10 like Nguyen.

Finally the combine has started in Orlando in preparation for the SuperDraft on Friday and Sunday.  Rounds 1 and 2 are Friday in Philly at the national coaches convention, 3 and 4 are by teleconference on Sunday.  Colorado traded their first round pick to Montreal two years ago for Eric Miller.  We hold two picks in the 2nd round, the 2nd pick from LA in the Jermaine Jones trade and our natural pick, the 4th of the round.  We have our natural (4th) picks in rounds 3 and 4 and we also have the 3rd pick in the 4th Round as part of the Marcelo Sarvas trade to DC.

While I wouldn't be shocked to see us move around in the draft I'm not expecting any major moves.  We don't hold any high enough picks to trade for quality players and I don't think the current leadership is interested enough in the draft to try to move up to make a major pick.  I expect we'll end up picking one player that will make the roster out of preseason and a young GK that will spend the season on loan somewhere.

So far the Front Office has talked the talk but not walked the walk this offseason as once again Rapids fans are wondering where the major attacking signings are.  Training camp opens a week from tomorrow, so about 190 hours from now.  The Front Office has talked multiple times about having all the key pieces in places by then so the team can hit the ground running.  There's a lot of work to be done in that time as this team needs a major DP/TAM striker signing, another center back, and probably a second starting-quality striker signing to push Badji and to allow for rotation.  Now's when the rubber meets the road.

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