In the second of our MLS 2015 Season Previews, we take a look at what the Colorado Rapids will be looking to achieve this year. We’ll have a new season preview up every day in the lead up to the season now so be sure to keep checking back for your team.
Colorado Rapids are a side searching for improvement in 2015 as they had a below par season last time out. The 2010 MLS Cup winners will be hoping for a stronger showing this year and Pablo Mastroeni has restructured his squad in order to enjoy the upcoming campaign a lot more than they did in 2014.
Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 8th – P34 – W8 – D8 – L18
What needs to change this year?
The Rapids conceded the most goals in MLS last season (62) and will need to shore up their defence if they are to be successful this coming season. They also had a huge problem in defence towards the end of the year which led to them going on a winless run of fourteen straight matches. The Rapids conceded 27 in their last ten outings – a far from acceptable record. They could also do with an out-and-out goalscorer to support Deshorn Brown, who managed ten goals last year.
Key changes to squad:
Ins: Zac MacMath (On loan from Philadelphia) – Goalkeeper, Marcelo Sarvas – Midfield, Sam Cronin – Midfield, Juan Ramirez – Midfield (Designated Player).
Outs: Marvell Wynne – Defender, Zat Knight – Defender
Key player: Marcelo Sarvas – Midfield
Marcelo Sarvas joined the Rapids from LA Galaxy this offseason and looks set to lead a new-look midfield in Colorado. Sarvas of course won the MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy in 2012 and in 2014 and will be hoping his successful past can inspire his new teammates. The Brazilian is set to partner fellow newcomer Sam Cronin in the centre of midfield and they should form a solid core that the Rapids will hope improves the entire team. Sarvas may take time to adapt to his new surroundings and could take a while to have a telling influence but he will be a key man for Colorado.
One to watch: Axel Sjöberg – Defender
The powerful Swedish centre-back was selected by the Rapids in the first round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and immediately stands out in a crowd. That’s largely down to the fact that he is 6’7″ and Axel Sjöberg will hope he can force his way into the starting lineup in his rookie season to help Colorado’s defence improve.
Predicted finish: Western Conference – 10th
A bit harsh you may think, but Major League Soccer is the strongest it has ever been and will only get better. The Western Conference has become even tougher with the additions of Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo and the Colorado Rapids will do well to finish anywhere but bottom this year.
How do you think the Colorado Rapids will fair in 2015?