Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Value of Hard Work; McBride for Colorado?

The value of hard work and the value of a deep roster. A week may be a long time in politics, as they say. A few weeks may actually be a very short time in professional sport. Last month wasn't looking great for two very skillful players on the Colorado Rapids team. At the beginning of July, both Mehdi Ballouchy and Herculez Gomez were wondering whether they would be able to find their way back into the starting XI. Now, they find themselves with great opportunities to establish their places. Ballouchy has played very well since the July 4 thrashing of the Red Bulls. With three successive games at home, he can cement his place in an attacking formation. Coach, Fernando Clavijo, spoke highly of the Moroccan's professionalism at fighting his way back on the From The Pitch radio show last night Fan favorite, Herculez, was frustrated at getting a few minutes here and there. But his hard work and his goals in the Reserves saw him in the starting line-up against Dallas and he grabbed the chance within five minutes. Now, with another fan favorite, Tom McManus, out for a few weeks having had surgery on a troublesome knee, Herc will surely get a good run in next to Conor Casey. Fellow striker, Omar Cummings, is with the Jamaican national team this weekend (congratulations to Omar) and will be lucky to make it to the sub's bench against Columbus this Sunday night so Herc looks set to start. We wish him and Ballouchy well just as we do Omar and McManus.
Veteran US striker, Brian McBride, was a guest on the From The Pitch show last night. Rapids coach, Clavijo, kind of joked that McBride would be very welcome at Dick's Sporting Goods Park if his dealings with Chicago and Toronto break down. Those two teams are in dispute as to claims on the striker who is out of contract with Fulham of the Premier League. It is very unlikely to happen but who would turn McBride down if the opportunity arose? I love the partnership of McBride and Altidore up front for the US Olympics team. A match-winning combination of exciting, speedy youth and sheer experience and nous?

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