2019-20 Offseason Catch-All Thread

Discussion in 'Colorado Rapids' started by JasonMa, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The in-season thread is already transitioning too off-season discussion so it seems like its the right time to start this thread and move the discussion here.
     
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  2. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While 1.74 pts/game may not be sustainable over a whole season, it was sustainable over 2/3rds of a season. If we had played the first third of a season at .73 pts/game instead of .18 pts/game we'd be in the playoffs. We could play almost half a point worse over 2020 than we played the last 5 months and still be a playoff team.
     
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  3. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
    Last March (Pepsi Center STM event) I had the chance to chat with Fran Taylor about what he was up to in terms of scouting in South America. IIRC he stated he would be looking at #10s in Argentina and Uruguay. According to the players on their list were realistic possibilities as the Rapids had been in contact with their agents.

    He also stated that they were looking at #9s in Europe. Additionally, I believe he stated they were after a center back and a #8.

    Remember that his all took place when Hudson was still the head coach and prior to the acquisition of Abubakar and Lewis.
     
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  4. SccrDon

    SccrDon Member+

    Dec 4, 2001
    Colorado Springs
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Off-season needs...

    • Another MLS-quality CB. If Ford comes back close to 100% it might be him. But if he can't come back strong we'll need another center back to push Abu & Smith to improve.
    • Decide what we're gonna do with Bassett. Play him with Price & Acosta to have 3 center mids who can all pass some and defend some but no true #10 or #6? Play him instead of either Price or Acosta?
    • Get a backup/future replacement for Kei. Best goalscorer we've had in a while but not sure how many more years he has.
    • A 3rd fullback
    • Solidify the GK spot. From what I've seen at Switchbacks games, Rawls is USL-quality, and Rodriguez has potential but a long way to go.
     
  5. therapidsnumbernine

    Colorado Rapids
    United States
    Jul 16, 2019
    Left: Vines, Wynne
    Right: Rosenberry, Anderson

    You thinking a dual footer (e.g. Oneil Fisher) to backup both positions? Or do you want depth on a certain side? I think Rosenberry filled in at LB twice this year and was fine. Lalas also played RB(?) once towards the end and didn't seem too out of place.

    If we get an Argentinian #10 like unkiemark said, wouldn't Rubio and Kei (plus Andre) be the two #9 options? I don't think Rubio as a shadow striker is going to be a long term play.
     
  6. SccrDon

    SccrDon Member+

    Dec 4, 2001
    Colorado Springs
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Really really don't want Wynne back. USL quality at best. We need somebody to cover both spots.

    Rubio's best as a shadow striker or additional striker in a 4-4-2, which I don't see Fraser going to.

    Andre is a possibility. He exceeded my expectations this season by a large margin and may be capable of being a 15-goal scorer. Maybe.
     
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  7. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Shocked to see Mezquida on this list, I think he's a no-brainer to return to backup whatever DP midfielder we get. Rwatubyaye will be back too as a project player. Wilson will likely be back only because he's got a guaranteed contract for next year, but maybe we use our one "buy out for no cap hit" slot this ofseason on him.

    I'm pretty sure Serna is gone along with Opare, Sjoberg, and Wilson. And of course, Howard. I wouldn't be shocked if Rawls is gone, or even Irwin, depending on our goalkeeping plans. Jackson is borderline depending on our other moves.
     
  8. Quinn 33

    Quinn 33 Member+

    Apr 25, 2003
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think having three different coaches (read: teams having no idea what kind of tactics we'll employ) and literally no one rating us after about April (read: everybody was overconfident facing us) probably enabled us to get some surprise results.
     
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  9. Sports Yak

    Sports Yak Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Lakewood
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    I tend to agree with that, although there was real improvement during the season. The key is to keep moving forward. I think it was Woody Hayes who said you either get better or get worse, you don’t stay the same. They need to keep improving.
     
  10. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
    Fran told me that they were looking at young #9s who hadn't reached their peak and would improve with coaching.

    He's listed at 5'9", at that height could he be an MLS quality keeper?
     
  11. Soaker888

    Soaker888 Member+

    Feb 21, 2012
    Denver
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Things I assume the FO are set on doing this off season.
    -Goalkeeper: We're going to acquire another... and maybe more if Irwin isn't kept around. We won't spend $2mil but I assume we're looking for quality.
    -Abubaker: it's been stated plenty... we need to keep him and I assume we will.
    -#10: we've gone long enough without some one who can make sh@# happen consistently, but with our goal scoring the way it was after Hudson was out leaves me wondering if the FO is onboard with this 100%. Again, I assume they are.
    -Another (good) striker: for future Kamara replacement, keeping the other wingers and strikers on their toes, ... and to score goals in 2020.
    -CB: I assume Ford will be back but he may or may not be able to pick up where he left off. Either way, not acquiring another CB is poor strategy.
    -More fulbacks. I think we see a short list of our current defenders hit the road.

    Shipped off: Sjoberg, Serna, Wynne, Howard (obviously), Rawls. Hundley (maybe: Jackson, Rwatubyaye, Opare, Raben)

    If we can score some MLS-proven acquisitions like we did with Kamara, Rubio, and even Irwin, I think we'll be better off.
     
  12. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Talk
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Clearing a path for Bassett, Lewis, and Vines (presuming Anderson still isn't ready, if he'll ever be) is a must. They should be penciled in as day 1 starters and the team shouldn't try to buy a DP/big allocation player over them. Not to say one couldn't pair with them in their positional groups, but they should be the foundation, and you build on top of that. Otherwise the development/investment this season will be for naught. Little benefit from performance on the field and eventual sale. The inevitable improvement from experience should continue if it's committed to.

    The Rapids don't have FCD's academy, but they should be used as a model more than the markets which are big draws. They cleared a path for Pomykal, Servania, Cannon, Ferreira, etc.; and for the most part benefited. Made the playoffs and next season project to be better. Then they'll ultimately sell those players, invest that into a combo of the academy and bargain buys that can be competition but won't get played over prospects simply because of their salaries. Luchi Gonzalez expressly stated this was a reason they were reluctant to make a big midseason move.
     
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  13. therapidsnumbernine

    Colorado Rapids
    United States
    Jul 16, 2019
    Ever heard of Jorge Campos?
     
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  14. COMtnGuy

    COMtnGuy Member+

    Apr 5, 2012
    Higher than you
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I care less about HG, we need to be able to win every game. The team needs to get better because the rest of the West sure will be doing that. We have been through too much shit to now settle for playing Home Grown players "just because".
     
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  15. Paranoid Coyote

    Paranoid Coyote Member+

    Oct 21, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    René Higuita is another that comes to mind.
     
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  16. COMtnGuy

    COMtnGuy Member+

    Apr 5, 2012
    Higher than you
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nick Rimando too

    But lets just agree it takes a very special talent to be under 6' and Rodriguez is at least 3 years out from serious Rapids consideration.
     
  17. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If he's already signing a pro contract in the Springs I give him maybe 2 more years before he's on the Rapids roster. I would not be at all shocked if we start the 2022 season with him in goal.
     
  18. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  19. rapidogordo

    rapidogordo Member

    Mar 12, 2016
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Mezquida is a huge asset and absolutely needs to stay. He has earned a spot on the team without a doubt.

    I also would love to see Nikki Jackson get more minutes-he always tends to make an impact and has a good nose for goal.
     
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  20. COMtnGuy

    COMtnGuy Member+

    Apr 5, 2012
    Higher than you
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do you realize how many of the of the all time great GK's were starting for a club in their top domestic league before age of 20? I guess if you think he will go down as the best GK in soccer ever this would be a valid statement. I would rather point out all the next under 18 "wunderkids" who never panned out.

    Just look at all the up and down of local Ethan Horvath's Career (who became starting GK at 20- Molde and has also started Champions league games)
     
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  21. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're not wrong, but I don't think the Rapids have him take a pro contract at 16 if they don't expect him to move up quickly. I'm not saying he should be starting in 20222, just that I expect him to do so.
     
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  22. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Talk
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's not just because. I explained it's part of a long-term winning plan. You benefit off the improvement from young talents over time. Then you flip them, get more young talents by re-investing in the academy, and money to fill out your roster.

    Meanwhile you can supplement w/ scouting and strategy to create competition and depth. Extract the homegrowns and collegiates domestic of teams who've burned their DP exception and Garber bucks on alternatives and then were compelled to play them in part due to salary. Look at Miles Robinson and Ryan Hollingshead. We're talking about arguably team MVP's who were blocked before this season. I would have suggested you acquire them specifically in the offseason. And have a South American scout looking for up and coming players in Colombia or wherever.

    If the Rapids just decided to buy short-term success would waste the foundation built this year, would have diminishing returns for more bad seasons than good, and it may not even work in the interim. In the last 4 years had 1 season above water and 3 below after splurging. Even in the good season there were plenty of smash and grabs, w/ a defensive/counter style. Scored the 3rd lowest goals in the league. Less money to invest after, old, and unmotivated players.
     
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  23. TheWarmBurger

    TheWarmBurger Member

    Colorado Rapids
    United States
    Aug 7, 2018
    Arizona
    I see where you’re coming from, but I don’t think any of us want the rapids to buy short term success in exchange for the foundation of the future. Nor have the rapids been acquiring players who are “old, unmotivated players”. We went out and got players like Acosta, Nicholson, Rosenberry, Abubakar, Rubio, Price, and Lewis. All are 26 or younger.

    To the players you mentioned...

    Vines I think we can all agree is an MLS caliber LB. He could start on most of the teams in the league and do just fine. I’m ok with him being penciled in as the day 1 starter.

    Lewis? He’s super talented, and has a very high ceiling. But he got beat out by a rookie striker. A rookie striker beat out a winger, to play the wing position. He needs to work super hard this offseason if he wants to be day 1 starter anywhere. I love his speed and his talent ceilings, but at this point that’s what he brings us. I would love to see him blossom into something spectacular but if he doesn’t have competition - he won’t improve.

    Bassett? Bassett is a different nut to crack. He’s also talented. But he’s not really a 6, 8, or a 10. I don’t think bringing in a DP in any of those positions is a bad idea. Look at Aaron Rodgers in the nfl. He sat under Brett Favre for years, and it only made him a better QB. Bringing in a DP for Bassett, Lewis, or Shinyashiki to be the understudy for wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.

    That said, a DP doesn’t have to be an old washed up player. There’s plenty of young hungry DP’s in the league already. Rossi, Vela, Martinez, Jona dos Santos, Quintero, Gil, etc.

    Getting a player like that certainly would bring a huge amount of life and strength to this team - nor do I think it means we’re sacrificing the foundation of young players we are building. There’s also no way I would turn down an opportunity to bring in Vela, for example, because I want to play Bassett or Lewis.
     
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  24. unkiemark

    unkiemark Member+

    Dec 23, 2003
    Boulder
  25. therapidsnumbernine

    Colorado Rapids
    United States
    Jul 16, 2019
    #25 therapidsnumbernine, Oct 9, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    Spent awhile thinking about this, reading everyone's comments here and elsewhere was helpful. In order of priority, here's what I see as our most important moves this offseason:

    1. Sort out the Keeper situation. I like Irwin, but wouldn't be too heartbroken to see him hit the road. Had a few issues in his first few appearances but I think he did a great job of filling in for Howard's "injury" as 2019 came to a close. If we keep Irwin, I think we should look for another on-the-cusp-of-starting player in MLS. Maybe a perennial backup keeper that deserves a chance to push for a first team shot (like Steve Clark before this season). Either way this ranks as number 1 because currently the team doesn't have three keepers rostered (I believe this is a requirement in MLS).

    2. DP Playmaker. Honestly this can be a winger (I think our winger depth after Nicholson/Shinyashiki/Lewis is only Hundley and Serna, the latter of whom I expect not to renew) or a central playmaker (the lusted-after #10). But I really want this to be a quality signing. Other posters have stated that the Pids are looking to South America to find talent that is great, but still has room to improve. That's the mold I think would work as well. I don't want to see us going to Europe to grab some 30-something looking for a paycheck. It'd be great to see someone who wants to impress here and now to earn a bigger move in the future. Interestingly, the Rapids brought in three South American players this past year (Rubio/Shinyashiki/Mezquida) who will hopefully help whoever is signed feel at home. Last year I recall wondering how a South American #10 would fit into a squad with no Spanish speakers, but I don't think that's gonna be a problem anymore.

    3. Sort out the Defense. First the givens: I would be shocked if (a) Abubakar is not signed and (b) Opare is not let go. I think Wilson has another year on his contract, so hoping he gets a move out of here is probably pointless. I doubt Sjoberg goes anywhere as well - he's contracted through '20 I believe and he's hardly performed well enough for teams to take a flyer on him.

    I'd like them to keep Raben around just to see if he can blossom into a versatile piece for the back line (I think he played every position for WF in college). Rwatubyaye was pretty clearly a signing for the future so I doubt he gets axed (though I wouldn't be surprised if he stays at the Switchbacks all year).

    So starting CBs are: Smith/Abubakar (I love this partnership, Tommy's looked much better since Lalas joined), with Ford, Wilson, Sjoberg available to rotate in, and Rwatubyaye and Raben available on reserve. I think, absent something crazy like Wilson and Sjoberg leaving, that we won't see any additional signings.

    The fullback situation is another can of worms entirely - you have two obviously-penciled-in starters: Vines and Rosenberry. Then you have the two obvious backups in Wynne/Anderson. I honestly don't expect a move here, but I wouldn't be opposed to ditching Wynne for another two-footed backup option to push Vines so he doesn't get complacent. But I don't think the team should cut Wynne unless another move is sorted out. He still has value to the team as a rotational piece and remember - your dislike of him might be due to his performances under Hudson (remember how ALL of our fullbacks were bad in his 9 games this year?)

    4. The Striker situation/2nd DP. No secret Kei's old. I know he's on for another year but I don't know if you can expect the same level of production. I think Andre's the future for the club... he looked much better at striker than on the wings in my opinion. There's also Rubio who might find himself back in the #9 role if a DP #10 joins. Jackson's available in the reserves. We also might just see a completely different system entirely once Fraser has a full preseason with the guys. That raises an interesting question for me: how should the Rapids use their second DP spot? I wouldn't be opposed to a fantastic #9 by any means, but I think that's a move best saved for the future. If your opinion is "I want a DP striker now" then you have to expect that one of Rubio or Shinyashiki will see the bench often. I would prefer grabbing another DP winger/creative player than potentially seeing less of those two in the squad.

    5. Midfield Depth. Price/Acosta are a great midfield pair and I'd be shocked if the Pids tried to sign a player to replace them in the starting lineup. However, I wouldn't be opposed to getting another bench option. We lost Blomberg, Feilhaber, and Boateng this year. Those were nice contracts to get off the books, but it does mean we're pretty thin depth-wise after Bassett. I'd rather not see Danny Wilson suit up as DM again, so getting that Jermaine-Jones-esque destroyer option in midfield would be a great move. Would give us an option when Acosta/Price are suspended/out (a common occurrence as is) and would also allow us to change up things a bit depending on the opponent.
     

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