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, 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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Colorado Rapids Academy

Undefeated U14s finish third in Galway Cup

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The Colorado Rapids Under-14s finished third in the 2018 Galway Cup despite being one of the two teams to boast an unblemished record in the tournament’s round robin stage.

Sligo Leitrim ultimately lifted the tournament’s top honors in the 2005 division, defeating Chicago Fire 1-0 in the final. Their victory marks the first U14 Galway Cup title in four years by a side not named Colorado.

The Rapids – coached by club legend Marcelo Balboa – opened the tournament on Wednesday with convincing wins over Shrewsbury Town and Sligo Leitrim. The following day, the U14s became the only team to drop points against the combined North Dublin Schoolboys League (NDSL) squad, playing to a disappointing 0-0 draw.

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Colorado Rapids, Game Recaps

Howard, Boateng shine in another late Rapids win

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Colorado secured consecutive victories for the first time in 2018 and Bismarck ‘Nana’ Adjei-Boateng scored his first goal in burgundy as the Rapids defeated San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on a beautiful summer Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The Rapids needed yet another stoppage time effort to defeat their fellow Western Conference bottom-dwellers, a result which finds Colorado eleven points below the red line with eleven games left in the regular season.

“I wish it wasn’t another late one,” Manager Anthony Hudson lamented post-match, “the game should’ve been put away in the first half.”

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