2018 Key Transfers: Colorado Rapids

As the 2018 MLS season closes in, we will run through the key additions and losses for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we look at all Colorado Rapids’ key transfers and what it could mean for them in their 2018 MLS campaign…

Colorado Rapids go into the new MLS Season with a new manager as Anthony Hudson has replaced Pablo Mastroeni permanently after Steve Cooke filled the role in the interim following Mastroeni’s departure in August. Hudson was most recently the head coach for the New Zealand national team, and has also held coaching positions at Tottenham Hotspur and with the Bahrain national team. At 36, he becomes the youngest head coach in Rapids history. His job will be to get the Rapids back to the level they were at in 2016 after a shocking 2017 season. They finished 10th in the Western Conference, scoring just 31 goals.

Key signings

Jack McBean: McBean has been brought in via a trade from LA Galaxy. The 23yearold striker has been on the fringes of the Galaxy team for a few years now and will relish a fresh chance. In return, Galaxy received a conditional fourth-round draft pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. With two goals in 18 appearances last term (10 of those from the bench), McBean will be looking to start more games in Colorado.

Jack Price: The English midfielder has spent the entirety of his career to date with Championship high-flyers Wolves in England. Having fell out of favour with the midlands outfit, Price has crossed the Atlantic. A central midfielder who played as a winger at a young age, Price will be used to operating in a 4-4-2 system and could flourish in an open league like MLS. Having only played five games for Wolves this year he should be fresh and raring to go in time for the start of the 2018 season.

Danny Wilson: Scotland international Wilson has joined from Rangers. As a promising youngster he got a dream move from the Scottish giants to Liverpool in the Premier League. But after spending three years with them and only playing two games for the Reds he moved back north. Most recently, he has had three successful years back at Rangers winning the Scottish Championship in the 2015-16 season.

Andrew Dykstra: He will be a backup to USMNT keeper, Tim Howard but nonetheless, he will be a solid option. Formally of DC and Chicago Fire, Dykstra spent last season with Sporting Kansas City, and also went on loan to Swope Park Rangers – the recently formed SKC affiliate. SKC received a second-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft in return.

Notable Departures 

Joshua Gatt: Josh Gatt is a quick winger whose career has somehow drifted of course. Once a prodigy lighting up the Norwegian top tier playing under Ole Gunner Solskjær. Gatt has left after only 15 appearances for the Rapids, following an early season trade from Minnesota United. With only the single goal for the Rapids in a frustrating season, there’s no surprise why he has been let go.

Mohammed Saeid: Saeid is the former Columbus Crew midfielder who was part of the trade that saw Gatt join the Rapids from Minnesota. And much like Gatt, Saeid was disappointing and has been let go. Playing 29 games and also chipping in with just the solitary goal last term, Saeid has joined Lyngby BK after they snapped him up in December – a Danish Superliga side that finished in a respectable third last season.

Alan Gordon: The powerful striker has parted ways with the Rapids after just one season in which seems to be a theme after such a disappointing 2017 campaign for the club. The two-time MLS Cup winner played 26 times last season, scoring three. Seen as merely a good option for the bench these days, it will be a shame if he isn’t picked up by another MLS side but at 36 years old, retirement is by no means out of the question.

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Colorado Rapids – Alan Gordon Axel Sjoberg

Bobby Burling: The defender is out of contract with the Rapids and it seems as though it will stay that way. Former Chivas USA and San Jose Earthquakes defender Burling would still be a good squad player for any MLS side. But at 33, doubts remain over his fitness, having spent periods of last season out on the sidelines.

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First ever group of MLS free agents available to be signed from today

Major League Soccer will see free agents available to be signed for the first time ever from today.

A total of 26 players are part of the first MLS free agency group after seeing their contracts expire at the end of the 2015 season and will be able to negotiate with potential suitors from 1pm ET (6pm GMT) today.

Free agency has been introduced to the league as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was agreed back in March, before the start of the 2015 campaign, and it will now be seen in use for the first time in MLS history.

Out-of-contract players who are at least 28 years old and have a minimum of eight years of service in MLS are eligible for free agency, including the likes of Corey Ashe, Ned Grabavoy, Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee and Alan Gordon.

Full list of the 26 MLS players available for free agency from today:

GK Jon Busch (Chicago Fire)
GK Troy Perkins (Seattle Sounders)
GK Kyle Reynish (New York Red Bulls)
GK Andrew Weber (Portland Timbers)

DF Corey Ashe (Orlando City SC)
DF Bobby Burling (Colorado Rapids)
DF Ty Harden (Chicago Fire)
DF Michael Harrington (Colorado Rapids)
DF Stephen Keel (FC Dallas)
DF Drew Moor (Colorado Rapids)
DF James Riley (Colorado Rapids)

MF Eric Avila (Orlando City SC)
MF Brian Carroll (Philadelphia Union)
MF Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo)
MF Ned Grabavoy (New York City FC)
MF Nick LaBrocca (Colorado Rapids)
MF Jeff Larentowicz (Chicago Fire)
MF Justin Mapp (Montreal Impact)
MF Paulo Nagamura (Sporting Kansas City)
MF Nathan Sturgis (Houston Dynamo)

FW Chad Barrett (Seattle Sounders)
FW Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
FW Conor Casey (Philadelphia Union)
FW Kenny Cooper (Montreal Impact)
FW Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy)
FW Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)

Which of the free agents above do you think will be the most sought after in MLS?

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake  

Venue: StubHub Center – Wednesday, May 27th – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 8/13 – Draw 11/4 – Real Salt Lake 9/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy entertain Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night in a Western Conference clash with the sides locked on 17 points.

Galaxy finally ended their five game winless streak with a 1-0 victory over Houston Dynamo on Friday evening. Alan Gordon stole all three points for Galaxy with a 90th minute winner, which was a huge relief for Bruce Arena.

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Robbie Keane’s return was a huge boost for Galaxy and he will be routing to get the side back into the form we are used to seeing as he works his way back to full fitness.

Real Salt Lake picked up three points this weekend with a 2-0 win over New York City FC, in a game they were expected to win.

Galaxy still haven’t been beaten at home in 25 games now and RSL will do well to end that run. They were thumped 5-0 in the last meeting between the sides at the StubHub Center.

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This is the first of two away games for Salt Lake and Jeff Cassar will know playing both Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps will be very tough games.

Team News

Bruce Arena still has some major injury concerns with his Galaxy side. Brian Perk, Todd Dunivant, Jose Villarreal, Kenney Walker and Robbie Rogers are all doubtful. Robbie Keane’s fitness remains questionable but he played a part in Galaxy’s win on Friday and will be pushing to feature here.

Real Salt Lake have five injury concerns. Chris Schuler, Joao Plata, Javier Morales, Sebastian Jaime and Boyd Okwuonu all doubts for Cassar. Luke Mulholland is one booking away from a suspension.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/D/W/W/W

Real Salt Lake’s last five: W/L/D/D/W

Key Stat: Shutout – Salt Lake haven’t scored against Galaxy in their last four meetings.

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Key Player: Alan Gordon – The forward has come up with some important goals this season and he is making a habit of being in the right place at the right time.

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-1 Real Salt Lake – Galaxy to make it two wins on the bounce in a tight game and remain unbeaten at home.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Sunday, May 17th – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: Orlando 17/10 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 6/4

Match Preview

Orlando City take on MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy in this delicious fixture on Sunday evening with the hosts looking to get back on track after another defeat against DC United midweek leaves them in seventh in the Eastern Conference. LA Galaxy also need to register a victory after no wins in their last four.

Orlando City are in a bit of a sticky patch at the moment with just two wins so far this season in their inaugural campaign. Those victories came at the Houston Dynamo and the Portland Timbers away from home and the expansion franchise have yet to win in front of their own fans.

No wins at home is a relatively poor return for the new franchise and this will need to be addressed imminently.

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Kaka has registered three goals this season and is the Lions’ joint top scorer with Cyle Larin, who lashed in his third of the season against DC United on Wednesday night when he opened the scoring for Orlando City.

Adrian Heath needs to rally his troops to pick up points at home to keep up the pressure in the Eastern. Registering wins will keep the fans singing and supporting them as they have done through this rough patch. Making the playoffs was the aim at the start of the year and that hasn’t changed for Orlando yet.

LA Galaxy have failed to set the Western on fire as they usually do, but they are known for their second half of the season surges as they assault and take the Western Conference by storm.

The defeat at FC Dallas last weekend ended their five-game unbeaten run. The defeat has also left them without a win in 10 away games from StubHub Center, with their last road win coming away at the Colorado Rapids on August 20th last year.

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Robbie Keane’s injury woes and Landon Donovan’s retirement has left them struggling so far, and Bruce Arena needs something to change for the better as three wins this season just isn’t good enough for the MLS Cup winners of last season.

In Alan Gordon, LA Galaxy have a reliable striker who has scored some important goals that have given precious points for the Galaxy as they strive towards a playoff spot and possibly Western Conference title.

This fixture will be the first time these two sides have played in MLS history, so no previous scores to report from, but it should be an entertaining one.

Team News

Orlando will be without goalkeeper Tally Hall, strikers Pedro Ribeiro (hamstring) and Martin Paterson (groin) along with Lewis Neal (neck) and Tony Cascio (back), plus Kevin Molino remains a long-term absentee and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

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LA Galaxy have been rocked by the news that Brian Perk is out for the season with shoulder and ankle injuries. Robbie Keane continues to miss out with groin troubles plus fellow forward Edson Buddle (calf) is out. Kenney Walker is also missing with groin problems and Todd Dunivant will miss out with a bruised knee. Good news for the Galaxy is that Jose Villarreal has resumed full training and could be welcomed back on the bench at Orlando. Dan Gargan is suspended.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: L/W/L/L/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/D/D/D/L

Key Stat: Alan Gordon’s three goals have contributed to five points this season, netting the winner against Seattle, a 90th minute equaliser against Portland Timbers and another equaliser against Colorado Rapids.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The young Orlando striker has found his goalscoring touch, scoring in his last two and will look to chip on with more goals in this one.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 LA Galaxy – The Lions will be tamed by the Galaxy but it will be an entertaining one with plenty of goals as Orlando’s wait for a first home win in MLS goes on.