Preseason

20 Predictions For 2020

Rejoice! The new season is upon us. With just two weeks left, the Rapids will begin play in the twenty-fifth season of Major League Soccer when they go to the nation’s capital to face D.C United. With much of the roster upgraded and with the team under the direction of Robin Fraser, the Rapids look to make the playoffs after a three-year absence.

Fan favorites like assist king Jack Price, the goalscoring duo of Diego Rubio and Kei Kamara, and the brick wall of Lalas Abubakar will join new faces like the quick-footed Nicolas Benezet, the up-and-coming Auston Trusty, and the club’s newest designated player Younes Namli. On paper, the Rapids look to be a dark horse contender amidst other teams with their Chicharitos, their Velas, and their Pulidos.

Here at Rapids Republic, I want to give you some hot but measurable takes about the Rapids with a hint of a “wait, what?” aftertaste. That’s why I, Juanners, the Resident Rapids Soccer Seer, am going to make some 2020 season predictions. LET’S BEGIN.

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Colorado Rapids, Preseason

11 Potential Rapids Designated Player Signings

 

It’s about that time of year again where I look on TransferMarkt, WhoScored, and peruse my copy of Football Manager to search and find players that the Rapids could snap up to fill out their Designated Player slots. There’s nothing quite like seeing the “Available Players” tab on TransferMarkt and thinking “Huh, that guy is available?” and then proceed to watch highlights of said player and think “This is exactly what the Rapids need!” Looking around some databases, I’ve gathered exactly what type of player the Rapids should sign as well as who exactly they should sign.

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Front Office

2019-2020 Offseason Preview – What do the Rapids need to do?

The Colorado Rapids find themselves with a lot to be proud of after their last-ditch effort to make it into the postseason on Decision Day. The team has not one but two clinical finishers in Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio, two dynamic wingers in Sam Nicholson and Jonathan Lewis, Rookie of the Year Andre Shinyashiki, a solid midfield partnership of Kellyn Acosta and Jack Price, and fullbacks who can get up and down the wing in Keegan Rosenberry and Sam Vines. The biggest glaring issue for the Rapids is the situation at center back and goalkeeper. There also isn’t much to write about the team’s depth options. As of today, Lalas Abubakar has not completed a move and the option year of Tommy Smith’s contract has not been picked up (though contract negotiations have begun). With Kortne Ford’s health still unclear, the uncertainty of Danny Wilson’s playing ability, and the lack of options at center back, the Rapids have a huge hole in the back line to fix.

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Front Office

Rapids Appoint Robin Fraser as Head Coach

The Colorado Rapids have their new manager: Robin Fraser. The speculation surrounding the Rapids new head coach has been confirmed. The hiring of the former player comes off the heels of the tenure of Coach Anthony Hudson who was fired on May 1st, 2019. The trend for Padraig Smith this year has been to look into the league for additions to the club and this hiring is no different. No “worldwide coach search” this time for the General Manager and Vice President. This in-league search for talent has really benefited the Rapids and one can assume that with Robin Fraser as head coach, more MLS-experienced and in-league players will be the norm.

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Front Office, In-Depth

Revisiting “The Rapids Way”

“Who are we?”

“What do we stand for?”

“What do we want to achieve?”

These three simple questions introduced the famous (infamous?) Colorado Rapids op-ed, a letter to the fans by Padraig Smith and Wayne Brant published in the Denver Post. Titled “The Rapids Way” Smith and Brant outlined just who they wanted to be, what they wanted to stand for, and what they wanted to achieve. It’s now been two years since “The Rapids Way” was published and the Rapids have failed to make the playoffs since. Currently, Colorado are at a <1% chance after a horrendous, record setting, worst start in Major League Soccer. While it is technically and statistically still possible for the Rapids to make the playoffs (miracles do happen sometimes), I don’t think this is what Padraig Smith or any of the Front Office had in mind when outlining the ambitions for this team. Rapids faithful know the term “perennial playoff team” all too well as that is what was promised to us that August.  However, we have yet to see playoff soccer make its return to Commerce City. So, two years to the date, it’s time to revisit “The Rapids Way” op-ed.

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In-Depth

Summertime Blues – June and July Review

June and July feel like the weekend of the calendar year. If you’re a student school’s out, all the water and theme parks are open, and weddings, just like any other Rapids’ season, seem to peak right around this time. As we head into August and the summer season starts to wind down, we’ll look back to the eight league games the Rapids played in June and July. In addition to those eight, Colorado also played an additional two games: an Open Cup game and a friendly against New Mexico United and Arsenal respectively.

After a hopeful May, Colorado went in to June with plenty to look forward to. Interim Head Coach Casey seemingly had the Burgundy Boys playing with confidence, purpose, and with a clear identity. The Rapids went unbeaten in June if you exclude the US Open Cup Match. Overall, a very good record for the month of June. It seemed as though the wheels really started to spin for the Rapids as they started to climb the table, slowly, but surely. July, however, seemingly killed the Rapids playoff hopes and put right back at the bottom of the Western Conference. The Rapids went all of July without a win and the honeymoon phase of June came to an end. I’ll give a quick analysis of each of the games except for the New Mexico and Arsenal games. In quick summary, the Rapids lost the New Mexico game because its a competition the organization doesn’t care about as a whole. Tickets weren’t even available until a week before the match: they know it’s nothing to focus on so I won’t here. The Arsenal game can be simplified as a game where a dominant European team defended in a low block with very rigid positioning. The Rapids attack had zero ideas and as soon as someone in the defense made a mistake, Arsenal capitalized and made the Rapids pay. In hindsight, and in my opinion, the Open Cup Game and the friendly are anomalies. They were chances to see a rotated squad but apart from that, not really anything to write home about. The league games will be the main focus and we’ll see just how quickly the Rapids Summertime Hightime went to the Summertime Blues.

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World Cup

Denver 2026: The Mile High City Wants World Cup Soccer

Where will you be seven years from now? Hopefully, by the time July 2026 rolls around, you’ll be in your seat at Broncos Stadium watching intently as two countries play the beautiful game in the world’s most coveted tournament: The World Cup. On July 11th, a coalition came together to reveal the plans for Denver’s bid to host World Cup matches. The coalition features Governor Jared Polis, Mayor Michael Hancock, Colorado Soccer Association President Nate Shotts, Committee co-chair Bob Contiguglia, Executive Director of the Denver Sports Commission Matthew Payne, and the Colorado Rapid’s own Executive Vice President and General Manager Padraig Smith. This coalition will look to make the case to FIFA why their city should host the World Cup.

Canada, Mexico, and the United States joint bid to host the World Cup leaves them with games to divvy up and spread across the continent. Canada and Mexico will have three cities each to host while the United States will have ten for a total of sixteen host cities. Currently, there are seventeen potential host cities but only ten will ultimately make the cut. Denver, among those potential cities, has a pretty strong case already.

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