Rapids Republic

With two internationals too many, the Rapids are not yet roster compliant

One of the seemingly-never-ending quirks of the MLS offseason is the pseudo-drama that arises from front offices desperately attempting to make their rosters compliant in advance of their club’s season openers. While Colorado does not face the problem of moving a fourth designated player that nobody wants, the Rapids still have some work to do in order to fulfill the arduous regulations enforced on MLS clubs.

A month from their season opener, the Colorado Rapids appear to be in need of two additional international slots.

There is an important caveat to make here – the reality of these stories is that teams always manage to find interesting and amusing ways to skirt MLS rules and regulations. Deals materialize out of nowhere, new rules get created, and the league continues on like none of it happened (notably infuriating the Football Manager employee charged with keeping track of MLS’s gargantuan ruleset).

However, internationals are a fairly simple item to follow – and the Rapids are pretty clearly in need of additional slots, green cards, or a combination of the two.

At the close of the 2018 regular season, Colorado had seven slots to utilize, with four committed to trades through the end of the calendar year (worth noting that two of those commitments were with slots that the Rapids had acquired through trades which expired at the end of 2018).

For 2019, the Rapids have three traded slots outgoing: one is with Vancouver until 2031, another is pledged to Dallas until the end of the 2019 season, and a third was shopped to F.C. Cincinnati for the rest of the year in exchange for Kei Kamara. In terms of incoming slots, the Rapids still remain the beneficiary of the worst trade in MLS history – in which Real Salt Lake gifted a slot permanently to Colorado in exchange for the rights to ex-SuperDraftee Adolfo Gregorio, who made six appearances before retiring.

For those keeping track of the math at home, that is eight international slots given to start with, minus three in outgoing trades, plus one from an incoming trade, leaving a total of six for the club to use.

Six internationals remain on Colorado’s roster from the 2018 season (Blomberg, Gashi, Nicholson, Price, Smith, and Wilson). This transfer window, the Rapids added two more: Nicolas Mezquida (listed as an international on Vancouver’s 2018 roster) and Andre Shinyashiki (who would take up a slot according to the league).

The Rapids can solve this roster construction dilemma in one of three ways: they could trade for additional slots, assist existing internationals in acquiring green cards like what was done for Nana Boateng and Dominique Badji, or they could offload one or more of the internationals on the roster.

Which solutions Colorado will utilize remain to be seen.

A Colorado Rapids spokesperson declined when given the opportunity to comment about the information contained in this story.

This story was inspired – in part – by a Twitter conversation initiated by Jason Maxwell. As always, you can follow Colorado’s internationals via the Rapids Republic Roster Tracker.

Image Credit: Colorado Rapids