Monday, March 2, 2009

No More Juice as Rapids Slim Roster

Justin Hughes, one of the unluckiest players for the Colorado Rapids, now has to rethink his soccer future after being waived from the club this afternoon. The Rapids had to make themselves roster compliant by today and decided to waive the unfortunate goalkeeper. Cesar Zambrano and Kwame Sarkodie were also waived. Hughes, aka The Juice, was out injured all last season. A badly injured groin initially kept him on the sidelines for much of the season. Just as he was about to come back, he promptly injured a shoulder in training and never made it onto the pitch. When you think of all the difficulties deciding between Bouna and Preston Burpo as to who would play between the posts last season, it would be reasonable to think that Hughes could also have made a strong case for inclusion if he had not been so injured. Now, he is deemed surplus to requirements after a season of inaction. The Rapids decided to sign draft player, Steward Ceus, as another goalkeeper. Maybe the decision is purely financial. Neither Hughes nor Ceus looked likely to get much action with Burpo and Matt Pickens apparently slugging it out as to who will start. Hughes was not on the greatest money but it might have been time to offer him something better and Ceus will undoubtedly be cheaper as a rookie. It's a great shame on a personal note. Justin is a top guy who always treated me with great respect and friendliness. I'll miss him as I know many of the players will. He was one of the most popular players in the squad. We wish him all the best for the future and hope he will comment occasionally on this blog which I know he reads. Good luck Justin.
I didn't know Zambrano and Sarkodie. Zambrano played once for the first team against Toronto last season and performed pretty creditably given the extreme inexperience of the defense that day. Sarkodie played in the Reserves last season as a midfielder. Good luck to them both in their futures. The Rapids now have 22 players on the roster leaving some space for future acquisitions. The Rapids beat San Jose 2-1 today in another preseason friendly - see for details. They play LA on Wednesday and I aim to speak to Gary Smith after the game for some insights.


Scott said...

I am really sad to see Justin go as well. Mostly will miss seeing his crazy hair. I am sure there is a place for him in professional soccer somewhere. Thanks for the post Nick, this is good stuff. I look forward to reading your post after the Rapids game with LA.

Jason Maxwell said...

Nick, by my count of players remaining from last season and players who have had new contracts announced this offseason we have 21 signed players. This does not include Harden, Gurrero, Wawa, or the 3 remaining draft picks (Pamboe, Holoday, and Shunk).

Any idea which one of this group is the 22nd player signed already? My money is on Guerrero on the assumption that he was still under contract at the time of the trade. If so, what's the status on Harden. He hasn't played in any recent preseason games, is he staying retired?

Nick Thomas said...

I thought Guerrero and Harden were already signed. They are certainly listed on the Rapids' website as signed players and the Rapids are usually pretty good at keeping that part up to date. I do have some questions about what is going to happen with the draft players if we are supposed to be leaving a spot or two open for the forwards we need. Presumably, they are going to try and sign this Jackie Chan guy and maybe they will stick with that and one of the draft forwards for now before the "big name" signing in the sumer. I'm not sure of Harden's status, maybe injured. Will try and find out.

Jason Maxwell said...

Thanks Nick. I talked to the Rapids this morning about it. I'll have a blog post with all the details later today, but Guerrero and Harden are signed, Richardson is not despite reports on Friday.