The Colorado Rapids have declined the options on 11 players, but would not rule out the possibility of those names returning to the fold for next season.
There are some notable names in the bunch, with former USMNT players Edson Buddle and Marvell Wynne joining productive midfielder Nick LaBrocca on the list.
Forwards Kamani Hill and Danny Mwanga are also on the list along with e defenders Gale Agbossoumonde, Thomas Piermayr and Grant Van De Casteele, midfielders Carlos Alvarez and Davy Armstrong, and goalkeeper Joe Nasco.
“This is an announcement we have to make prior to the upcoming November 26 deadline for notifying our players,” said Paul Bravo, the Rapids’ vice president of soccer operations and technical director. “Some of these players may be back with us by the time we begin training in January as many things could change between now and then.”
There are 28 years of MLS service between Buddle, Wynne and LaBrocca. Buddle scored just twice in 18 games for Colorado this year, while LaBrocca played in nearly every match. Wynne made 27 starts for the Rapids as well.
It will be interesting to watch what becomes of these players. With the expansion draft coming up in December, Colorado can only protect 11 players. This is pure speculation, but exercising their options could’ve made them more likely to be plucked by New York City FC or Orlando City FC.
The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.
My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.
2018 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)
Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Serie A lags behind other top European league in TV money, which has hindered its ability to recruit top end talent relative to its competitors.
Ricci says if American sports see value in bringing their top leagues to Europe, it holds that the reverse would be true. From the BBC:
“If we look at some other more developed leagues in terms of commercial strategy; the NBA and NFL, they are exporting one or two of their matches abroad, to the UK or elsewhere in Europe. I think it is a good strategy. It is a way to export something that is not an exhibition.”
Would a regular season match bring any more eyes or attention than the International Champions Cup, at least enough to offset the sacrifice of atmosphere? It seems doubtful, but the money is the key here. Italy wants to catch up with Spain, Germany, and England.
Sticking with the orange and blue color combination which has served them since inception, the shield has FC in the top left corner, Cincinnati running diagonally left-to-right in blue script on white, and a winged lion holding a sword as the primary icon.