Colorado Rapids, Roster Updates

Joining Colorado a “Dream come true” for Hundley, Raben

Following a hectic SuperDraft weekend that added new blood to the Rapids’ roster ahead of their 2019 campaign, the Rapids held a special event Tuesday to announce the signing of two homegrown players: Matt Hundley and Sam Raben. The Colorado natives join Dillon Serna, Kortne Ford, Cole Bassett, and Sam Vines as Rapids academy alumni on contract with the first team.

“I’m feeling ecstatic,” Hundley beamed following the press conference, “It’s a dream come true. Being in my hometown to start my professional career is incredible.”

Raben was similarly enthusiastic about the next step in his career. “The more and more I do with the team, the more I get excited,” the versatile defender explained, I’ve been doing some pre-preseason workouts with the strength coach, Chad [Kolarcik], and it’s just really cool to see all the players – all the players I looked up to – come in and do the same things as me. It’s surreal.”

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Colorado Rapids, Roster Updates

Colorado solidifies first team depth during draft weekend

The Colorado Rapids traded away a fan favorite, but made some valuable acquisitions to strengthen their squad squad depth during the MLS SuperDraft. The weekend’s moves were the latest in a whirlwind of activity orchestrated by the Rapids front office ahead of the 2019 season.

Colorado Friday by announcing the successful signing of veteran midfielder, Benny Feilhaber. Half an hour later, the Rapids traded up to the fifth overall pick of the SuperDraft to select standout University of Denver striker, Andre Shinyashiki. Colorado finished the afternoon by drafting Marcello Borges (University of Michigan) and Jacob Hauser-Ramsey (University of Connecticut), but not before winger-turned-fullback Marlon Hairston was sent to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for $175,000 General Allocation Money.

Anthony Hudson expressed relief and pleasure after the completion of the second round of the draft, noting that the new additions “complement” the work done by General Manager Pádraig Smith, who has spearheaded Colorado’s activity in the MLS Primary Transfer Window.

“At the end of last season, we had so many scouting meetings, and we went through all the targets that we wanted,” Hudson explained, “Pádraig and our scouts have delivered.”

Colorado followed up Friday’s acquisitions by drafting Robbie Mertz with their seventy-sixth overall selection during the fourth round on Monday’s supplementary, conference-call draft.

In advance of Tuesday’s special announcement, it is necessary to critically evaluate the impact of these moves on Colorado’s ongoing roster rebuild and understand what role each player can serve in the first team.

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Colorado Rapids, In-Depth, Roster Updates

Another Year, Another Rapids Rebuild

To say the 2018 MLS Regular Season was a disappointment for the Colorado Rapids would be quite the understatement. Colorado endured two seven-game losing streaks, scored a league-low thirty-six goals, and finished third-to-last in the overall table with a measly thirty-one points. Despite brief glimpses of the “attacking football” pledged by the club’s front office, it was clear from two month into the season that the Rapids did not have the quality to compete on the same level as the top sides in Major League Soccer.

Throughout Colorado’s failure to make the playoffs in two consecutive seasons, General Manager Pádraig Smith has reiterated his promise of making Colorado a perennial postseason contender – an ideal initially manifested in his infamous 2017 editorial in the Denver Post. Now, one full year into the thus-far underwhelming Anthony Hudson project, there appears to be a glimmer of hope for the Rapids faithful.

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Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids FIFA 19 ratings released

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While the release of EA Sports’ latest installment of the FIFA video game franchise is more than a couple of weeks away, information regarding player ratings has already begun to proliferate from those who have had early access to demo the game’s new features. As a result, the FIFA fan-site FutWiz has been able to compile the latest, updated player ratings for Colorado Rapids players.

For those who are unfamiliar with the series, FIFA’s player ratings somewhat vary between different game modes. These ratings in particular come from the game’s most popular mode, “FIFA Ultimate Team.” While player ratings for the “Kickoff” mode generally update throughout the season to match player form, Ultimate Team “base” ratings tend to stay the same throughout the year.*

Additionally, it is important to note that FIFA ratings take into account international reputation and a variety of other factors that can increase a rating beyond what might make sense for the “stats” a specific player has. Subsequently, while FIFA ratings are enjoyable to speculate about and discuss, they matter very little to determining a player’s true “quality” on the pitch. As always, they should be taken with a grain of salt. Finally, bear in mind that it is possible these ratings change before the game’s official release on September 28.

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Colorado Rapids, Roster Updates

Caleb Calvert returns to Colorado from Charlotte loan

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The Colorado Rapids announced Friday that Caleb Calvert has returned to Denver from his loan to Charlotte Independence in the United Soccer League.

The 21-year-old American forward scored only one goal and registered two assists across his thirteen appearances with the Rapids’ USL affiliate club in 2018. Calvert joined Colorado after Chivas USA folded in 2014 and has spent four loan stints with the Independence.

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Colorado Rapids, Game Recaps

Rapids give up six goals and two men in Rocky Mountain Cup finale

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The Colorado Rapids delivered an embarrassing performance Saturday night that saw two players get sent off for violent and reckless play amid a six-goal rout by Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake. Colorado was utterly dominated by Salt Lake across the entire match and the 6-0 result was the most-lopsided victory in the rivalry’s history.

Minutes into the first half, Damir Kreilach drifted away from his marker (Tommy Smith) in the box and was wide open for a cross from Joao Plata. Kreilach buried his chance and Salt Lake took an early lead. Four minutes later, Niki Jackson appeared to head-but Albert Rusnák in the box. Referee Ted Unkel did not hesitate to produce a red card, and the Video Assistant would confirm the call.

The Rapids – now down to ten men – continued without making any changes for twenty minutes, with Jack McBean taking charge of the attack up front. Twenty minutes after the red card was given, Jefferson Savarino doubled RSL’s lead after Dillon Serna failed to clear a loose ball out of the Colorado’s box.

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Colorado Rapids, Game Recaps

Colorado fights back twice to draw with L.A.

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Colorado extended their undefeated streak to three games as the Rapids fought back from two deficits to secure a vital road draw against the L.A. Galaxy Tuesday night.

“I’m just incredibly proud of how the team has been working over the last five-six games,” manager Anthony Hudson said of the 2-2 result, “from start to finish really I think we were the better team, I think we controlled the game, so I’m pleased for the players because they needed that.”

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