The Rapids DP Saga Ends Today

The Colorado Rapids will know by the end of today if they will have their first ever DP in the Panamanian striker, Gabriel Torres
by Greg Moss   |   Thursday, August 08, 2013

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

Storytellers are renowned for their ability to embellish, exaggerate and wind the mind into knots as twists and turns envelop the imagination of listeners. Like an organic maze the plot always moves and you feel as though you will never reach the end.

Followers of the Colorado Rapids have been stuck in that maze for several weeks, riding the rollercoaster that never seems to conclude.

Finally, after a long ride, the carnie will at last pull the brake lever.

Gabriel Torres to visit Colorado

Rumors that Torres would sign with Colorado have always been looming in the ears of the Rapids faithful, while simultaneously, at the other end of the spectrum, other rumors circulated that he had committed to other clubs, leaving fans in suspense as blogs and articles were checked hourly by those following the story.

But the potential designated player who the Rapids have been fighting for is finally supposed to visit Colorado. The Panama international star striker from Zamora FC, according to technical director Paul Bravo, will be in Colorado, and hopefully to stay.

The trade deadline ends at the end of the day today. That being said, it is promising that he is visiting Colorado last. Fans hope that his intention is to remain here taking up the long lost skill of finishing that the Rapids have been relishing to obtain over the last few seasons may be fulfilled. Colorado hopes that since his final visit is stateside, that it is a promising gesture from the 24-year-old Panamanian.

This could potentially be one of the biggest and best signings that the Rapids have accrued in years, or one of the biggest busts in their short history. Colorado has not been known for forking out cash, but it may have to reach into its pocketbook to keep him here. Assuredly, other clubs from Europe and elsewhere have shown interest in Torres and most certainly made offers.

Torres fitting in with the Rapids

It is not a secret that Colorado has had issues with scoring in recent past, especially with Edson Buddle not holding up his reputation as a goal scorer, and the young rookie Deshorn Brown being far from a polished machine at the top of the formation. Jaime Castrillon, save for Colorado’s last match, has all but disappeared, and the highly regarded Kevin Harbottle being released, there are holes in the goal scoring department. Holes that all hope Torres can fill. It is a high expectation of the young man as he enters Colorado, but I suspect those expectations will be similar regardless of wherever he ends up.

The questions that linger, though, is what will happen to the lineup that has put Colorado in 2nd place in the Western Conference and went undefeated in the month of July? Should that lineup be abandoned for a player who has never played in the MLS?

Colorado has adapted to many stressful and tragic situations during the 2013 season. Injuries plagued them for much of the 1st half of the year, and young players rose to the occasion. The coaching staff adjusted lineups and formations to accommodate the skill of the players that set foot onto the pitch, and with much success. I suspect that with a player as talented as Torres, they will again make necessary arrangements, as hard as they may be, to find a spot for him. Whether that means sitting veteran striker Buddle, which might appease upset fans, or sending Brown in from the bench, which to many is a wiser decision anyway. Torres, if he signs with the Rapids, will find playing time in Commerce City.

Adding the strengths of Torres to the speed of Brown could be potentially one of the most dangerous combinations in Major League Soccer. The amount of traffic that Torres will attract could possibly free up Brown to play 1v1 with a defender. Or, if the defense tries to account for Brown’s speed, Torres will find his way into the box and inevitably find netting.

Vicente Sanchez signs with Colorado

Let’s not forget the veteran Vicente Sanchez. This signing raises the question that only extend the maze that Colorado has built of what the formation will look like in the upcoming weeks. Whether he has any gas left in his tank is another question.

If Colorado intends on playing him with Torres and Brown/Buddle, then we will most likely see Oscar’s long lost 4-3-3. If he plays off of the bench, then they may stick with their trusty 4-2-3-1, not to mention playmaker Martin Rivero has been practicing with the squad the last few weeks, which will alter the lineup even further.

The confusion of the formation with the recent and potential signings of bigger name players leaves not only fans and analysts in wonder, but also, more importantly their opponents. What will the ever-changing identity of the Colorado Rapids look in the weeks that follow? Only time will tell.

NEXT UP: August 11 – Colorado Rapids vs. Chivas USA, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif. 11 p.m. EST, UniMas.

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Concordia College
Club Domestic:
Colorado Rapids
Club Foreign:
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