I asked Gary Smith at training today what he would do if the nightmare scenario of the US and Jamaica picking Conor Casey and Omar Cummings for their respective national teams for the CONCACAF Gold Cup comes true. He responded by saying that the Colorado Rapids are very close to signing one new striker and possibly two. One of those forwards appears more likely than the other in the very near future ("in the next week or so," said Smith) while the other forward could be after July 15. Exciting news for DSG Park. The team has been very reliant on Cummings and Casey to score the goals and provide offensive creativity and the two have responded magnificently. Casey has clearly stolen the limelight with his phenomenal scoring but Cummings, though only netting twice early this season, is right up there in terms of assists. Now, pundits with far greater clout than me, are putting the pair right up in the top three of striking partners in the MLS with the likes of McBride and Rolfe at Chicago and Ching and Kamara at Houston.
Smith has known for some time that he needs extra forwards with only rookie Ross Schunk and new signing Gregory Richardson as back-up. Neither of those players has any MLS league experience. The need for one or even two other strikers is clear and now it seems the Rapids are closer than ever in securing that. Interestingly, the imminent arrival of at least one player has nothing to do with the finish of the European season, according to Smith. "Clearly, it would be foolish for me to think they can get through 30 games unscathed," Smith said of his current strike pair. "We are working very hard to address that."
The Gold Cup starts July 3 and runs through the month of July. The US is arguably more affected because it has two games on the two Saturdays of July 4 and July 11. The Rapids have two home games on those dates. Jamaica play at slightly different times but Cummings would clearly find it hard to be available for the Rapids if he is selected. Here is a link to the complete schedule.