Saturday, July 14, 2007

MLS 2007 Team Moves : Colorado Rapids

With the season half over and Blanco and Beckham about to join their respective teams (Chicago and Los Angeles), I thought it would be good to go through each team in the league and summarize the moves they've made coming into and during the 2007 season. The first team I'll look at is currently the 2nd worst team in the league, the Colorado Rapids.

* José Cancela - Traded from Toronto FC (traded for Youth International slot to be held by Toronto until 2009)
* Conor Casey - Traded from Toronto FC (traded for an allocation and rights to Riley O'Neil)
* Nico Colaluca - S igned as 1st round Superdraft pick
* Omar Cummings - Signed as draft pick
* John DiRaimondo - Signed as draft pick
* Herculez Gomez - Traded from Los Angeles along with Ugo Ihemelu for Joe Cannon.
* Justin Hughes - Signed as draft pick
* Ugo Ihemelu - Traded from Los Angeles along with Herculez Gomez for Joe Cannon.
* Kosuke Kimura - Signed as draft pick
* Nick LaBrocca - Signed as draft pick
* Brandon Prideaux - Traded from DC United(for 2 3rd round draft picks; one in 2007 Superdraft one in 2008 Superdraft.
* Zach Thornton - Traded from Chicago Fire for a conditional pick in 2008 Supplemental Draft.
* Facundo Erpen - Traded from D.C. United for Greg Vanney.

* Roberto Brown - Released by team
* Greg Vanney - Traded to DC United for Facundo Erpen
* Joe Cannon - Traded to Los Angeles for Herculez Gomez and Ugo Ihemelu.
* Matt Crawford - Released by team
* Eric Denton - Released by team. NYRB picked him up in the waiver draft in November of 2006 only to release him the next March when they acquired Hunter Freeman.
* Hunter Freeman - Traded to New York Red Bulls for a 2008 3rd round SuperDraft pick and a 2007 4th round Supplemental draft pick.
* Luchi Gonzalez - Released by team and has since joined Miami FC (USL-1).
* Sasha Gotsmanov - Released by team and has since joined his hometown Minnesota Thunder (USL-1).
* Matt Jordan - Released by team. Joined Montreal Impact of USL-1.
* Aitor Karanka - Released by team
* Aaron King Released by team. Joined Charleston Battery of USL-1
* Thiago Martins - Transferred to Bodø/Glimt of the Norwegian Adeccoligaen
* Clint Mathis - Traded to New York Red Bulls for a fourth-round draft pick in 2008 and a conditional pick in 2009.
* Fabrice Noël - Released by team
* Alain Nkong - Released by team
* Riley O'Neill - Traded to Toronto FC (technically he hadn't signed with the league and the Rapids traded his rights; part of the deal for Conor Casey)
* Melvin Tarley - Released by team. Joined Puerto Rico Islanders (USL-1).

Osorno One Step Closer To The Rapids

A bit ago I mentioned the Colorado Rapids were in the hunt for ex-Mexican International Daniel Osorno. He was seen at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on the 4th of July. On July 12th VP Jeff Plush confirmed that the team was in talks to sign him.

Before signing Osorno the Rapids needed to clear up an SI slot. They've done that by releasing Panamanian Roberto "El Bombardero" Brown yesterday. Brown's spot on the team was in question once the Rapids were able to bring in Colorado-native Conor Casey who plays a similar role as El Bombardero up top. And with Osorno's paperwork about to go through, it was time to release Roberto. Brown came to the Rapids after having played with Tacuarembó FC in the Uruguayan First Division.

Just before this the Rapids release defender Chris Wingert. Real Salt Lake traded a first round pick in the 2008 supplemental draft and a 2nd round pick in the 2009 supplemental draft for his rights. That's not a surprising move for a team looking to add some defensive depth. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Torres put in another poor performance and find himself on the bench with Wingert starting alongside Pope.

Reminder : As FC Rocky points out, there is still no official word from the Rapids on the status of Osorno. Keep in mind that as much as this may look and sound like a done deal, until it's done it's not done. There are plenty of examples of situations like this in the past where at the last minute the team or the player walks away from another player or another team (or for nothing other than just walking away).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fire Clavijo & The Rapids Woes

If you haven't already caught it, some Rapids fans have a web site up at It's not just that the Rapids haven't won since May, they appear to be calling for his head because he's only won 6 of his last 30 games. Are they right to call for Clavijo's firing? Can a new coach really help the Rapids?

Rapids New SI

The rumors has been floating around for awhile now. The Rapids are on the verge of signing Mexican forward Daniel Osorno. In the middle of June Kansas City was linked with a move for the player. Last week 3rd Degree reported that FC Dallas was interested in Osorno but he had decided to sign with Colorado. FC Rocky reported that Osorno was spotted in the press box at Dicks Sporting Goods Park last 4th of July. When the Rapids held their "Chalk Talk" Sunday, July 8th GM Jeff Plush was asked about Osorno and not only didn't deny the situation but admitted the Rapids were working on finalizing the paperwork.

It's July 12th and so far nothing has been announced. The word on the street is that the other non-guaranteed contract player, the first being Chris Wingert, is Panamanian Roberto "El Bombardero" Brown. Once things are about to be finalized for Osorno, the Rapids will release Brown.

I understand the team letting Brown go. Conor Casey is a better big man target forward than Brown. Osorno is a better player than Brown. Daniel Osorno's earned 73 caps with the Mexican national team. However this move doesn't seem to address any of the Rapids weaknesses. It doesn't give them natural depth on the left. It doesn't give them a left-sided fullback. And, at least for now, one struggles to see how it helps the Rapids with possession and, more importantly, quickly transitioning from defense to offense. These seem to be the Rapids core problems. And maintain a roster of 7 forwards (Niko, Peterson, Casey, Herculez, Kirovski, Cummings, Brown / Osorno) doesn't seem to be the answer.

The last statement is more apparent when when takes into account 2 players have recently left the Rapids. Defender Chris Wingert left the team when they wouldn't guarantee his contract for the remainder of the season. Yesterday midfielder Daniel Wasson announced he was leaving the team to try to find a team in Europe. Before those moves the team was already needing fresh blood in their defense and midfield. And now their hands are tied. They already have the maximum number of Senior Internationals and have to release one to make room for Osorno even though they now have 2 open roster spots.

Is this a team on the verge of completely falling apart? Is it time to fire Clavijo?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Findley, Klein, Sturgis

Now that folks have had a couple games to at least see Findley and Klein play, can we agree that while Findley has potential he is far from being worthy of being an MLS starter?