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.
Columbus sources sure seem intent on ensuring that the Colorado Rapids overpay for central defender Lalas Abubakar. And why wouldn’t they? The Ghanaian was out of favor for the first two months of the Crew’s season – only managing one appearance before arriving to Denver on loan. If a club has a chance to garner an obscene fee for a bench player they’re going to take it every time.
The attempted price gouging in-and-of-itself isn’t necessarily unexpected. What is surprising is how deliberately obvious the Crew’s strategy is regarding the transfer. When Ben Ferree published “Colorado Rapids willing to spend over $1 million to get Columbus Crew CB Lalas Abubakar” in Pro Soccer USA earlier this month, I immediately knew that the sources would either be from the Crew’s camp or completely unattributed. Though the Columbus-based journalist chose to cite the latter, the fact that it was Ferree’s work and not the outlet’s Denver correspondent certainly indicates that this story came from the Crew’s side. After all, the same piece made it clear that Columbus believes Colorado to be one of “several teams” interested, a claim repeated nearly verbatim in the Columbus Dispatch – and nowhere else – weeks later (notably, according to the defender himself, it’s Colorado or bust).
At this point you should be asking yourself: “How would the Crew’s camp know what the Rapids are willing to pay?”Continue reading