We have talked a good bit about what’s next for the LA Galaxy, but we have to ask the same questions now about the Colorado Rapids. They were eliminated from the MLS postseason yesterday in the Western Conference final by the Seattle Sounders. In a game where they had to score a goal after Seattle won the first leg, the Rapids managed 16 shots but none on goal.
Midfielder Jermaine Jones wasted no time in giving his thoughts afterwards:
He told the Denver Post’s Daniel Boniface that he was a free agent now and wanted designated player level money. He also made it clear that was not afraid of going to Europe or Mexico to get that level of a salary. One clarification, Jones is out of contract but he is not a free agent within MLS. Players have to spend at least 8 seasons within the league to qualify for its version of free agency. Jones could be selected in the Expansion Draft, if he is left unprotected by Colorado, or in the Re-Entry Draft.
Pablo Mastroeni is also out of contract. After a twelve year career as a player with the team, the became their manager ahead of the 2014 season. Two poor seasons were followed up by a second place finish in the league and Western Conference and a trip to the Western Conference finals. Will that be enough for the Rapids to keep Mastroeni?
The team will have to address its anemic attack in the offseason. Designated Player Kevin Doyle scored seven games in thirty appearances. Albanian international Shkelzen Gashi led the team in goals with ten in 2016. Dominique Badji showed promise, but did not get into yesterday’s must win game until the 85th minute. Technical Director Paul Bravo has some key decisions to make.
Now that the season is over for Colorado, we will see what decisions they make regarding their manager and roster. While I have not been a huge fan of Mastroeni’s performance as manager, the team’s progress this season has to be taken into account. Why would the club show the level of patience through poor 2014 and 2015 seasons with Mastroeni only to let him go once the performances turn around?
Regardless of who is on the sidelines leading the team, they have to upgrade their attacking options. Gashi was a revelation this season, but he needs more help. Yesterday, the team looked lost in the final third and had no answers to unlock Seattle’s strong defense. That cannot happen at this stage of the playoffs.
“This, of all Sounders teams, was the one that finally did it.” (Seattle Times)
Jermaine Jones is looking for a Designated Player-level contract for 2017 (Denver Post)
Andrea Pirlo to retire at the end of 2017? (Calcio Mercato)
Howard Webb could be in charge of implementing video replay in U.S. leagues (Soccer America)
Club America advance to Liga MX semifinals after defeating rivals Chivas (FMF State of Mind)
Leicester players worried Claudio Ranieri will cancel their Christmas party (ESPN)