Rapids Considered a Threat?

Colorado has overcome much, and now looks to capitalize with ranks replenished
by Greg Moss   |   Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mile High Club – column on Colorado Rapids & the Denver area and Colorado soccer scenes.

Depth is not a word that has been used in the past in Colorado when referring to the Rapids. The first line has always been the strength of the team with a large drop off in talent between the players on the field and the players on the bench.

In the past, if starters got injured, the Rapids would have no choice but to go to a player that was always riding the fence between the first team and the reserves. There has rarely been a backup plan.

We’ve seen that change drastically and rather quickly in one offseason overhaul. The “secondary” players have gone from below average to players that could possibly start in other cities around the league. The depth is something that fans have not been used to, but quickly understood what the team had acquired.

At the season’s dawn, questions surrounded the identity of the Rapids, with players that had come from all over the world. Commerce City, Colo., had become a hub for young players to test their skill against proven veterans. Little did we know that they would surpass all expectations.

With the injury plague running rampant, those players were granted their chance, and take it they did. In many ways, the injury bug was beneficial to the Rapids realizing what they had in their lineup, allowing for comfort if a starter was to go down with injury. Trade bait is a word that is tossed around in articles and podcasts. It is an issue that can only mean positive things for this team.

Youth at its finest

The players that have found themselves wearing burgundy for the first time, and there are quite a few, have not only proven that they can play, but play at a high level. With the former starters returning, the new and old can merge on the pitch to create a product that could viably make a deep run into the playoffs.

I say this early, and with great surprise to myself, but it is a strong possibility. The product has not only improved, but has shown us that the Rapids are a team that will take chances on young players, both home grown such as Shane O’Neill, and international players. The greater the risk, the greater the reward seems to be the ideal that the Rapids have embraced.

If the Rapids are to make a playoff run of any sort in the 2013 season, it would surprise most fans and analysts after a dismal 2012 showing. That being said, it is the start of something great with players that will be around for many years to come.

I expect the Rapids to only grow in strength as players return from injury, and others join, as the Rapids reward grows with their courageous risks. They not only plan on making a team that can play with the best of the MLS, but players that will improve with time making the Rapids a threat that will last well into the future.

NEXT UP: June 15 - Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. 9:30 EST, MLS Live.

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Greg MOSS

Nationality:
USA
College:
Concordia College
Club Domestic:
Colorado Rapids
Club Foreign:
Everton
Producer of "From the Pitch" with Marcelo Balboa and a personal Rapids podcast. All personality with a face for radio and profile pictures. Born a midwesterner, thankfully transformed into a Rocky Mtn dweller. Covering Colorado Rapids with words and voice
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