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So soon, so few

August 9, 2011 | 9:17 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

The Colorado Rapids have only four home games remaining in the MLS regular season, and as the dates dwindle, The Tuesday List takes a look at how the roster has changed since the team moved to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the 2007 season.

Looking at the 2011 roster, we go back in time to who was here in each of the previous seasons. We looked at who was on the roster at the end of the season and remains today.

2007 Roster: Conor Casey*, Omar Cummings, Pablo Mastroeni, Kosuke Kimura

2008 Roster: Casey, Cummings, Mastroeni, Kimura

2009 Roster: Casey, Cummings, Mastroeni, Kimura, Drew Moor*, Jamie Smith, Scott Palguta, Matt Pickens, Steward Ceus

2010 Roster: Casey, Cummings, Mastroeni, Kimura, Moor, Smith, Palguta, Pickens, Ceus, Jeff Larentowicz, Brian Mullan*, Wells Thompson, Macomba Kandji*, Quincy Amarikwa*, Anthony Wallace*, Andre Akpan, Danny Earls, Ian Joyce, Ross LaBauex, Marvell Wynne, Davy Armstrong

*Joined the team during the season.

So, what does this list tell us? Soccer is a volatile sport, especially when you aren’t winning. Only three current players -Cummings, Mastroeni and Kimura — were on the roster when DSG Park opened 4 1/2 years ago. Only Mastroeni was a regular on the field, with Cummings making 11 appearances as a substitute and Kimura starting four games for an erratic defense that season. Add Casey from Toronto FC during 2007, and those four are the quartet of Rapids that started the DSG era.

It also tells us that while the team was missing the playoffs in ’07, ’08 and ’09, it was only in that 2009 season that the side started to come together. Looking at the players who came and went, ’08 was as dismal as it seemed. Fernando Clavijo departed as coach two-thirds of the way through the season and Gary Smith took over. Only the Casey-Cummings-Mastroeni-Kimura quartet continued from the depths of ’08 to the heights of the 2010 MLS Cup and beyond.

In ’09, the team added two starters — Pickens and Moor — and a third, Smith, who would start if not for nagging injuries. In ’10, the team added starters in Larentowicz, Mullan and Wynne, with Thompson, Earls and Wallace all seeing significant minutes.

Just in the way that a season is fleeting, so is time on the field for Rapids players. Now, Kimura is a constant at right back, Cummings is flourishing after early season injuries, Casey is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, and Mastroeni continues to turn back time as he approaches his 35th birthday on Aug. 29.

So, The Tuesday List wants you to remember these names because you never know how many more times you’ll see them on the field.

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