Roster Updates

Rapids cut Gashi and acquire Green Card for Nicholson

The Colorado Rapids revealed Friday that the club has opted to waive Albanian Designated Player Shkëlzen Gashi. Additionally, Sam Nicholson appears to have acquired a Green Card during the off-season – a development first reported by the Endline Podcast Thursday morning.

Finalizing the two roster adjustments was necessary for Colorado to meet MLS’s domestic player restrictions for the 2019 regular season. Heading into preseason, the club had eight international players and only six spots to utilize.

A source familiar with the decision to waive Gashi’s contract acknowledged that the forward had not performed well enough in preseason to justify inclusion on the regular season roster. Gashi was not cut because Colorado has imminent plans to acquire another Designated Player (though this move does make a high-budget summer addition possible). Rather, the Albanian international simply failed to impress in training – leaving management no other option besides waiving the player.

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Roster Updates

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.

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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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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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Roster Updates

Rapids sign academy player Cole Bassett

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General Manager Pádraig Smith revealed Thursday that the Colorado Rapids have signed academy player Cole Bassett to a full-time contract. The announcement was made during a live question and answer session that the club hosted at Odell Brewing Company in downtown Denver. Colorado has yet to reveal the specifics of the contract offered.

Bassett, 17, joined the Rapids Developmental Academy from the Colorado Rush academy in 2017. Smith spoke highly of the talented midfielder, describing Bassett as “the best player” in his age group.

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Roster Updates

Michael Azira traded to Montreal Impact

The Colorado Rapids have traded midfielder Micheal Azira to the Montreal Impact “in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft,” according to an official announcement made by the club Wednesday afternoon.

The news breaks seven days after the Rapids loaned Azira to USL’s Colorado Springs Switchbacks. The Ugandan native made one appearance for the second division side (started in a 2-0 win against Oklahoma City Energy).

The midfielder never seemed capable of passing Jack Price and Danny Wilson on Colorado’s depth chart at his position. Azira only made five league appearances for the Rapids in the 2018 MLS season, tallying a mere 275 minutes of playing time.

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Roster Updates

Rapids return international roster slot to Minnesota

The Colorado Rapids announced today that the club has returned their vacant “international roster spot to Minnesota United Football Club for the 2018 season in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money.”

Colorado originally acquired the one-year international slot in the early-season trade that brought Sam Nicholson to the Rapids in exchange for Eric Miller and $50,000 GAM.

The trade certainly indicates that Colorado is not interested in bringing in any more international players during this transfer window. Given that the slot would have returned to Minnesota following the completion of the 2018 season, it makes sense that the Rapids would try to recoup what it spent on securing the slot in the first place.

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