Giving In: Crew v. Rapids, Early Impressions

For those unfamiliar with it, I have dedicated myself to follow and, to some degree, conflate the relatively separate fates of the Columbus Crew and the Colorado Rapids for the 2008 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. The idea is to see which of these long-struggling MLS original clubs make progress this season…and which falls still further behind as the league expands.

This post just came to me out of the blue (OK, I was on the can; does that make it “out of the brown?”), but I think there’s something to it. Back when I embraced this assignment, nearly two months ago, I liked Columbus’ chances better. The reasoning was pretty straightforward: Columbus, playing in the tougher East, had the look of a team that could be competitive with the addition of only a player or two (both forwards, preferably) and more time to gel. Against that, the Rapids had the look of a team in not only in need of a total overhaul on offense, but one with the impression of a toxic locker room (suffering, perhaps from sour relations between players and coach?). Continue reading

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Rapids on (Hilgen)Brinck of Better Defense

Sorry.  This will be the only visibly strained pun of the day.

Enjoy this press release announcing the Colorado Rapids latest signing: Chase Hilgenbrinck, a defender who has, to this point, played in Chile.  But he’s from Illinois…and you can’t get more American than that, dammit.  And I wouldn’t be doing my bit unless I flagged Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo’s attempt at hyping the signing:

 “Chase will use his speed and experience to help us continue to bolster our defense that gave up the third fewest goals in the league this past season.”

So…yeah…a defender.  Oh, good.  Exactly what’s needed in Colorado.