Garry Smith's team are coming off of a disappointing 2009 campaign,which saw the Rapids get 6th place in the Western Conference and not qualify for the playoffs.However,the Rapids have had a great offseason and made a great change with the Revs,getting midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Well Thompson while sending inury-plagued defender Corey Gibbs,goalie Preston Burpo,a draft pick,and allocation money to the other way.Also good picks in the draft with former U.S U-20 international Andre Akpan and Cal State Northride standout defender Chad Borak give Rapids fans a good reason to be happy.The team is led up top by a mix of power and pace, with the strength and positioning of Connor Casey tallying up 16 goals last season,much due to the pacy off the ball running of strike partner Omar Cummings.Here are the 5 determining factors in where this team ends up in the 2010 season.
1.Will the injury plagued players get fit?-Foward Pat Noonan and Scottish winger Jamie Smith can provide a spark off the bench when fully fit.
2.The duo in the center of the park-Captain Pablo Mastreoni and Jeff Larentowicz will both have to dictate the game and provide charisma away from home to help take away points from tough games.
3.Colin Clark-One of the most underated players in MLS,the left winger has good pace and a great set of moves to leave defenders standing still.
4.Playing for the full 90 minutes-One of the downfalls of the Rapids last season was not playing until the end,which led to wins becoming draws and draws becoming losses.
5.Star Power-Who's turn is it to lead this squad?Connor Casey did last year with 16 goals,but I think this is the year of Omar Cummings.The quick foward is a constant threat up top with Casey.