Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rapids on Verge of Two More Signings (Updated)

The Colorado Rapids are about to announce the signing of two new players as the flurry of off season trades continues. In an apparent Steve Guppy connection, left-sided defender/midfielder, Danny Earls, will be moving from the Rochester Rhinos very soon. The Irishman was on the books at Aston Villa and played for the reserve team there. Subject to paperwork coming through, the Rapids will also be strengthening their central defensive area with the signing of a Colombian defender. All I have right now is his family name - Morrillio - but I'm not sure that is the correct spelling. So, you'll have to do your own research on that one. UPDATE: LOOKS LIKE THIS SIGNING WILL BE OSCAR FABIAN MURILLO, curently playing in Colombia. He is variously listed as a goalkeeper and defender but this wikipedia link lists him as a defender.
Sat down at length with Gary Smith yesterday morning for the first time since the Rapids returned for the preseason. Look for some news in the next week.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

CAF Bans Togo Team From Africa Cup of Nations

Oh God. Just when you thought governing bodies in football couldn't get more stupid, the Togo national team has been banned for the next two Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Their crime? To walk away from the current tournament because three of their party had been brutally murdered and others remain in intensive care after the attack on the team bus just as the tournament opened. And to issue the ban on the eve of the final of the 2010 version? Quite incredible. I hope the teams from Ghana and Egypt stage some form of protest during the final tomorrow. Football is not as important as life despite what Bill Shankly said.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cummings Set To Play For Jamaica

Omar Cummings will not be at DSG Park much of this week as the Colorado Rapids players report back for preseason duty. Like fellow Rapids' striker, Conor Casey at the weekend, the frontman is on international duty this Sunday as the Reggae Boyz turn out in Kingston to play Canada in a friendly. Cummings will be hoping for more success than his teammate who played the last 30 minutes in a hugely disappointing loss for the US against Honduras in LA.
Sunday's a big day in world soccer with Arsenal due to play Manchester United at the same time as the final of the Africa Cup of Nations takes place in Angola. If Ghana make it to the final, I think it will have to be that over a possible Premier League decider.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Now Official - Revs/Rapids Trade

The Colorado Rapids acquired the rights to midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and midfielder Wells Thompson in a trade with the New England Revolution, the club announced today.
In exchange, Colorado sent goalkeeper Preston Burpo, defender Cory Gibbs, allocation money and their natural third round 2011 MLS SuperDraft pick to New England.
Following the acquisition of Larentowicz’s rights, the Rapids agreed to terms on a new contract with him, officially adding the five-year veteran to their roster.
Larentowicz has established himself as one of the league's premier talents in the midfield. In five seasons with New England, he had climbed into ninth place on the Revolution’s all-time games started list (103) and minutes played list (9,305). Originally selected by the Revolution in the fourth round, 45th overall, in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft from Brown, Larentowicz has played in 111 career games and recorded nine goals and nine assists.
A three-year veteran, Thompson has played his entire MLS career with New England after originally being selected by the Revolution in the first round, fifth overall, of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft from Wake Forest. He has appeared in 71 games, with 36 starts, scoring two goals and registering three assists. Thompson’s game-winning goal in the final of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup gave the Revs their first cup championship in club history.
Burpo leaves Colorado after joining the club in May 2008. The six-year MLS veteran started in 24 games and made 60 saves with a 1.67 goals against average for the Rapids.
Gibbs appeared in 29 games and scored one goal for Colorado after being acquired in August 2008.

Jeff Larentowicz – Midfielder

Height: 6-1

Weight: 175

DOB: August 5, 1983

Hometown: West Chester, Pennsylvania

College: Brown

Last Club: New England Revolution

Roster Status: Senior

Wells Thompson – Midfielder

Height: 5-10

Weight: 155

DOB: November 25, 1983

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

College: Wake Forest

Last Club: New England Revolution

Roster Status: Senior


Rapids Set to Sign USMNT Midfielder; Gibbs Going

It all looks official now, barring the dotted Is and crossed Ts. This might be a move in the right direction with Larentowicz. The view on Thompson seems to be mixed. But the Rapids are in desperate need of a dominant, creative midfielder and the national team's Larentowicz might just fit that bill. According to the Boston Herald report, the Revolution will get Preston Burpo and Cory Gibbs in return, plus some money and a draft pick. Burpo has been nothing short of a model professional at DSG Park and a good guy. He looks as if he will get some good playing time in New England with Matt Reis injured. Gibbs was becoming increasingly expendable with Gary Smith looking to Julien Baudet and Drew Moor as his number one central defensive pairing. Look for a lot more Rapids' trades in coming weeks and months.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peterson Leaves Rapids for Canada

Press release from the Rapids today:
The Colorado Rapids announced today a trade with Toronto FC in which Colorado receives allocation money in exchange for midfielder Jacob Peterson.
Per club and league policies, financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Peterson, originally drafted by Colorado with the ninth pick in the second round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, recorded eight goals and five assists appearing in 92 games for the Rapids. The four-year veteran from Indiana University played in 23 games last season, scoring two goals and adding two assists before suffering a torn ACL in his right knee on Sept. 23 and missing the remainder of the season.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rapids Expecting Big Roster; Arsenal Trip Unsure?

The Colorado Rapids now have at least four new players after the Superdraft last week. That number will surely be boosted by triallists and other hopefuls that Gary Smith and the coaching staff will be bringing in as preseason approaches. Up to 35 players are expected back at DSG Park for the start of preseason training. The roster has to be trimmed to the maximum 24 players by March 1.
An interesting date because that is the same date as has been rumored for a preseason game between the Rapids and an Arsenal XI in London. At this moment in time, the team is not sure of actually going to the UK for a preseason trip.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

World Cup coming to Denver?

OK, so Denver has been included in the list of cities for the US World Cup bid. Even CBS4 Denver, which never reports on soccer, even though Vic Lombardi claims he is a fan of the game, reported on it last night. I know it's a long process with the announcement of who will get the 2018 World Cup due as early as December 2 this year, but this just seems so far away to get really excited about it. I mean, the US is still competing with many other countries, including England, which has launched an apparently dismal bid, Golden Balls' involvement excepted, for the 2018 version. I doubt anyone else is even really seriously thinking about a bid for the 2022 version. Maybe the US does have a chance for 2018? But with this year's version in South Africa and 2014 in Rio, maybe the country might have to wait until 2022 because FIFA might want the Europeans to stage something in 2018. Can't leave the old powers out for too long.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Casey Reportedly Offered Improved Contract

Conor Casey, who is about to join the US training camp for its upcoming friendly against Honduras, has reportedly been offered an improved contract from the Colorado Rapids, according to the blog, No Short Corners. The post states that the striker received an offer from a Turkish club and also has interest from a number of clubs in Germany where he already has some playing experience. Hence the willingness, presumably, of the Rapids upping his deal at DSG Park.