Do the Rapids have the Talent?

Discussion in 'Colorado Rapids' started by DavidJames, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

    May 11, 2003
    Do the Rapids have the players to compete in the top half of the MLS. If you're a national team coach, you would apparently vote no

    I've gone through the MLS rosters and listed those players with recent (since the World Cup) National Team experience, including youth teams as well as those players I'm aware of who were recently on foreign national teams. I'm sure I've missed some and may have included others incorrectly, so corrections are be welcome. I've listed the teams in order of how many such players they have, from the most to the least.

    Notice who's on the bottom. Clearly, having the most number doesn't guarantee success, see the United with 6. Then there are those foreign players who haven't been recently on their national teams but are clearly among the top players in the league, Etcheverry, Preki, Ruiz come to mind.

    So do the Rapids have the players to compete at the upper levels. Based on their play this year and this information, I don't think so.

    If you disagree, please elaborate on your reasons

    # Team-Nats|Uxx|Foreign Nats
    6 United-Convey,Petke,Olsen,Rimando,Stewart|Quaranta|None
    6 Fire-Razov, Armas, Bocanegra,Thornton|Pause,Gray
    5 Galaxy-Jones,Victorine|None|Elliot,Myung-Bo, Marshall
    5 Metros-Mathis,Howard,Pope,Williams|McGee|None
    5 Crew-McBride, Hejduk|Martino, Buddle|Oughton
    5 Quakes-Donovan,Ching,Agoos, Mulrooney|None|Onstad
    4 Burn-Kreis, Suarez|Countess, Ed Johnson|None
    4 Revs-Twellman,Moore,Brown,Llamosa
    3 Wizards-Klein,Wolff,Garcia|None|None
    2 Rapids-Pablo|Beckerman|None
  2. Jeff

    Jeff Member

    Apr 14, 1999
    Alexandria, NOVA
    The Rapids have the talent to be at least decent, albeit not very deep. With guys like Spenny, Pablo, Chung, Stewart, Carrieri, if he gets his form back Hendo, there's a nucleus for at least a competitive team. It all goes back to the coaching/management though. Rizo in my eyes shows generally solid positonal sense and certainly accpetable ball skills once he got off the Golden field. Where was he yesterday? I don't think he even travelled. Carrieri could be a energy boost sub or a solid starter up front, but he seems to be at a different position every week.

    Add depth players such as Hart (decent other than Chicago), and Kotschau, and there should be a mid-table team if you ask me. Still don't know what to think of Beckerman but the potential to contribute frequently is there. Garlick's still a decent keeper; no star but the Rapids can and have done a lot worse in goal (Fashion will speak on Kramer I'm sure :)). A lot of things are missing though. Yes, grimandi's conduct was unfortunate, but there's no excuse for looking as listless as the Rapids have for too long in 2003. That's my biggest concern, half the time it looks like the focus and passion is missing.
  3. Kaiser

    Kaiser New Member

    Nov 12, 2000
    dark side of the moo
    Beckerman reminds me of Valderrama. He runs (jog/skip) like him and is about half way to having his hair.
  4. prk166

    prk166 BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 8, 2000
    Med City
    First off, judging the number of players on a team that makes their respective nat team isn't necessarily the best judgement of talent. I could have a club full of nat players and still suck. And it wouldn't even have to be players who played for Fiji, Andorra or St. Lucia. Just look at one of the teams heading up the list, DC United. They've been one of the worst clubs this year.

    I think Colorado has the talent to be one of the better teams and the league. And the lack of talent defensively to balance that out for some mid table form.

    Then again, what team in the league doesn't?
  5. jdonnici

    jdonnici Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Westminster, CO
    The problem isn't talent alone.

    I think the Rapids have the talent to do just fine in the league. Look at the players on the field the last few games -- it's largely the group that went to the semi-finals last year.

    I also don't see that the number of players with MNT caps equates to anything in the context of the MLS season. You could even argue the opposite -- that the teams with more current MNT players have to work harder because of the gaps left when Arena pulls them for duty.

    The larger problem for the Rapids seems to be a lack of inspired play or even motivation -- especially once they're in the hole by a point or so. To me, that points to a problem in the clubhouse and a problem with the way they're being managed.

    If there really was a conscious decision made at half-time yesterday to fall back and play safe, "bunker ball" soccer, as Wynalda indicated during the broadcast, then it's clear -- Hankinson's tactics are all wrong and the impact of that decision was painfully evident in their second half play. They should have come out as a team with nothing to lose, looking to disrupt the Galaxy's HDC inauguration.
  6. He's In Fashion

    Jan 7, 2000
    Littlefun, CO, US
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MLS Semi-finals... yeah, they suck with same team... There's no debating the talent... I've lost all faith in Hankinson...
  7. Gamblor

    Gamblor New Member

    May 17, 1999
    You've pointed out the flaw in your own theory. DC should be one of the best teams in the league, but they are one of the worst. Why? Ray Hudson is a bad coach. Good individual players do not add up to a good team without a quality coach to lead them.

    Again, based on your theory, NE should suck but they don't. They're second in the East. Many people feel they are full of "A-League" caliber talent. Why are they doing well? Their coach knows how to get the best out of their players (including role players).

    Once again, your own stats defeat your theory. KC should suck. But instead they are 1st in the West and tied overall for 1st in the league. Why? Coaching.

    The Rapids have talent. Fraser/Chung/Henderson have over 100 Caps combined. But they will be too old for 2006 and are not part of the "Arena's boys club" so Bruce is not bothering with callups for them and this would be true even if they were playing well individually.

    Younger guys like Carrieri or Stewart might be getting callups if they had a chance to develop under a quality coach like Bob Bradley. Under Hankinson this won't happen.

    But I do see one pattern that leads to the Rapids problems:

    Worst Coach in MLS right now - Tim Hankinson
    Worst Team in MLS now - Rapids
  8. J.A.

    J.A. New Member

    May 10, 2003
    I think the Rapids have average talent for the league.
    The problem is, Hanki has no clue how to use it. Example-
    Why do we have Rizzo if he's going to play Nat?
    Pablo has always been a Defensive minded midfielder or on the back line itself, now he's supposed to carry/hold the ball in the mid?
    Don't get me started on set pieces.
    My point is, the Rapids aren't utalizing the talent they have. I'm sure D. Powell will solve everthing...
    yea, right....
  9. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

    May 11, 2003
    Interesting responses. It seems many of you are better judges of talent that Arena and the other US coaches :)

    By the way, I never stated a "theory" regarding the # of players mentioned and the quality of play. In fact I stated:

    "having the most number doesn't guarantee success"

    and used the United as an example.

    Now, do I think that it helps to have players who the US men's coach deems worthy of the US team. You're damn straight I do. Do you disagree? Do you prefer having players that Arena doesn't give a damn about? You're the GM of a new team and your given two pools of players to choose from, those that have had recent tryouts with the U.S. team or the rest. I'm sure each of you will go right for that non-recent-tryouts pools and grab your players. :rolleyes:

    I saw on the US game today that Arena has looked at almost 50 players in the past few years. How many Rapids have been among them? Why is that, why do we have but a couple of players brought into the men's camp in the past few years??? That issue doesn't concern you?

    Last years team, losing in the semi's was a great result. Seems nobody is giving Valderama any credit for that. Do you think Chung and Henderson would like to have Carlos serving passes to them or getting the attention of the opponents midfielders instead of them. Now I like Beckerman, but do you think the opposing midfielders give him the same respect (and attention) as Carlos.

    I don't think Hanks is doing the job and should be replaced. But thinking we've got the same talent as the rest of the league is lost on me. Hanks may be juggling lineups and not motivating, but he's not out there missing traps, passing to the other team, skying shots over the net, getting beat and then dragging down the opponents.

    Last Point - We've played 7 games, won 1 (tied for worst), have 4 points (worst in the league) scored 4 goals (lowest in the league) given up 15 goals (tied for most in the league) and almost half of you think it's not the talent.
  10. UxSxAxfooty

    UxSxAxfooty Member+

    Jan 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We do have talent.

    Chris Henderson has over 70 appearances for the national team and was a member of the 1990 US World Cup squad at 19.

    Zizi Roberts has 35 appearances and 7 goals for Liberia.

    Mark Chung has over 30 appearances.

    Robin Fraser has over 30 appearances.

    Pablo Mastroeni has 20 appearances.

    John Spencer has 15 appearances for Scotland.

    Darryl Powell has 11 appearances for Jamaica.

    Thats a fair amount of international appearance.

    Chung and Henderson have been considered the two best wingers in the MLS. Both scored in the double digits last year. As well, they've made numerous All-Star appearances.

    Robin Fraser was the 1999 MLS Defender of the Year, plus his All-Star appearances and championships with the Foxes years ago.

    John Spencer scored 14 goals with 7 assists in 2001, as well as having played in the Premier League with Chelsea.

    Pablo Mastroeni has become a fixture on the US national team. 'Nuff said.

    Chris Carrieri was the 1st overall SuperDraft pick in 2000, and notched his 11 goals last year.

    Zizi Roberts has experience in Italy, as well as with Olympiakos in Greece. He's been compared to George Weah in Liberia.

    Kyle Beckerman is a fixture on the US U23 squad and has been for the youth national teams for years, as well as being considered a top prospect from Project-40.

    Seth Trembly signed with the Rapids his Junior year of high school at Arapahoe. Has experience with the US youth teams and Project-40.

    Alberto Rizo has experience in the Mexican league and also the Mexican youth squads.

    Darryl Powell has Premier League experience.

    We have talent.
  11. jdonnici

    jdonnici Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Westminster, CO
    Nice summary.

    It'd be great if it were as black-and-white as "the team doesn't have the talent," because it's easier to identify and address - but past results indicate otherwise.

    But when you have a group that has largely played together in the past and had some success, you have to wonder why there's a complete downturn in results months later. You then start to wonder less when you hear all the player/staff comments we've heard this spring about the tactics, level of drive, and overall mood of the club. This is the harder part to fix because it's so intangible. What is clear is where the responsibility for those tactics, the drive, and the team's confidence resides.

    And the whole "do you want players that Arena doesn't give a damn about" is a red herring. It's apples and oranges to compare the jobs of fielding a competitive team on the world stage and fielding a competitive team in MLS. There are plenty of examples of teams in the league doing well with minimal help from MNT players. So if it's not a measure of success, what's the point?
  12. Gamblor

    Gamblor New Member

    May 17, 1999
    But it's not just judging raw talent that Arena is interested in. More on this later.

    So what exactly was the point of this thread? You posted "Do the Rapids have the players to compete in the top half of the MLS. If you're a national team coach, you would apparently vote no...Based on their play this year and this information, I don't think so." You then made a table listing teams and the players that have been called up. If you don't think there is a correlation between the number of players called up and team performance, then what was the point of this table?

    According to your post, a "national team coach" would think that KC and NE would not have the players to compete in the top half of MLS. But they would be wrong.

    Exactly. Your saying there is NO correlation between the number of players called up to the national team and quality of play.

    Therefore, Colorado's poor performance has nothing to do with how many players they have or haven't had called up to the national team.

    Arena picks players who:

    1) He likes and are young enough to help in WC 2006.
    2) Maybe too old, but are "his guys" and can help him train/work with younger players to get him to WC 2006. Guys like Agoos, Williams, Llamosa, and Stewart. Players Arena has worked with for years and he knows what they bring to the game/practice field.

    The older quality players on Colorado are not "his guys". Chung/Henderson/Fraser have never been part of this group and are now too old for 2006. They'll all be in their mid to late 30's.

    They are directly related. Missed shots, poor passing, lack of cohesion, lack of concentration are EXACTLY the kinds of things that happen when the coach destroys the teams confidence. All of the off the field and on the field in-fighting, players screaming at each other, happens because the coach has lost the respect of his players.

    This mistakes on the field are the symptoms and Hankinson is the underlying disease. Don't treat the symptoms, treat the disease.
  13. chazz

    chazz New Member

    May 28, 2003
    Re: Re: Do the Rapids have the Talent?

  14. chazz

    chazz New Member

    May 28, 2003
    Gamblors Quote

    Gamblors quote was :

    Worst coach right now in MLS: Tim Hankison

    Worst team now in MLS : Colorado Rapids

    His quote,not mine...I haven't given up yet,at least not on the team.
  15. spot

    spot Member+

    Nov 29, 1999
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do the Rapids have the talent? I think the Rapids have talent. If you were to dispand the Rapids I think these potential starters: Spencer, Carrieri, Chung, Henderson, Beckerman, Mastroeni, Hart, Fraser, and Kotschau, would all find a job. They may not start for another team, but they would push somebody off. Then we have some nice young players on the bench in Crawford, Schmidt, and after Saturday I'd throw in Borchers.

    To my mind it's a matter of maybe not having the right group of guys on one hand, and a coach who can't manage to make them work as any kind of cohesive group on the other.

    I am starting to question the chemistry of our midfield options. The team seems to have a real bottle neck right in the middle of the field. Henderson and Chung both seem to come inside to show for the ball, while both forwards tend to stay in the middle. Most of the wing work has been done by our outside backs. The problem with this is, that the other teams defense is also drawn into the middle of the field cutting off forward passing lanes pretty easily. By the time the backs push forward things are already clogged up. The running off the ball just seems to be non-existent.

    I don't know what the answer is either. Chung has always been an east-west type player. It would help if Beckerman could slip outside when Chung comes in, but I haven't seen that type of interaction. In the past Hendo could run out wide all day, but he's been so quiet that I'm never really sure where he's at recently. In any case while I think we've got some talent, I'm starting to wonder if it's very compatible. Nobody seems to be on the same page in any case.
  16. mjraw

    mjraw Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    I think that statement hits the nail on the head. I think we have some talent, but I don't think we have enough to win the cup. We do have the talent to be, at the very least, competitive. As far as being on the same page and compatible, I view that as our coach and GM. Tim and Dan are responsible for putting this team together and have noone to blame but themselves (on the combatibilty issue). The issue of the players being on the same page, that is Hanki's fault. As a manager, it is your responsibility to make sure your team is prepared and moving in the same direction, not only for the season, but for every game. He clearly has not and/or can not do this. They both need to go.
  17. Gamblor

    Gamblor New Member

    May 17, 1999
    Re: Gamblors Quote

    I'm not giving up on them either. I just think we need the coaching change. Get a quality coach in here, let him assess the situation and move forward. Look at how this turned around NE last year once they got rid of Clavijo. Look at how much better the Metrostars are under Bradley than Zambrano. Look at SJ before Yallop and after. There are many other examples.

    If it truly is the talent then I think the problems would be a lot worse. If we needed to change 5, 10, or 15 players then it could take years to turn things around. I don't think that's the case.
  18. DavidJames

    DavidJames Member+

    May 11, 2003
    Ok, it looks like my belief that we don't have enough talent to compete in the top half of the MLS is not held by the majority of posters. I believe there are a lot soccer savvy posters here and I'll take another look at the situation. Rest assured I haven't given up on the team and will be in my seat for each remaining game cheering the team on and for wins.

    One final comment and before turning my spare time toward the game Wednesday.

    Winning is based on the performance on the field the day of the game. Past laurels, awards and notoriety mean little unless it contributes to the success of the team.

    Back to work, but first I need to send a note to Hankinson... I'm thinking since we need some height up front, let's switch Frazier and Stewart with Carrieri and Spencer... yeah, that would do it.

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