Boy, sometimes the rumor cycle runs the race from start to finish in record time. Take, for instance, the Colorado Rapids’ pursuit of Alejandro Bedoya.
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Less than 24 hours ago it was reported by ESPN’s Taylor Twellman that the Rapids, who minutes earlier had acquired the top spot in Major League Soccer’s allocation order, the mechanism by which the league allocates incoming U.S. national team players, or returning MLS players who were previously transferred out for a fee.
A deal was said to be in the works with all parties hoping to complete the signing of Bedoya, who currently plays his club ball for Ligue 1 side Nantes, before the start of the Rapids’ 2016 preseason training camp. Fast forward to Friday, and the deal for the USMNT midfielder is already dead, according to the latest report from ESPN FC.
Having traded down in Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft to acquire the top spot in the allocation order, the Rapids will need — or, at the very least, want — to use their newfound position of power to sign someone before the 2016 season. Enter USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard.
According to the ESPN FC report, it’s Howard to whom the Rapids have turned their attention. Howard, who will turn 37 on the opening day of the 2016 MLS season, signed a new four-year contract with Premier League side Everton in April of 2014, not long before his heroics at the World Cup in Brazil that summer. At the time, Howard said he would play out his contract through the summer of 2018 and “be on a beach somewhere when I’m 40.”
Because Howard is currently under contract, a transfer fee would be involved in any deal to bring the 106-times capped USMNT goalkeeper back to MLS, where he began his professional career with the MetroStars in 1998.
The Rapids’ sudden — if it is indeed — interest in Howard smacks a bit of desperation. The club’s 2015 campaign was a total lost cause (37 points – 10th in the Western Conference, 19th in the league-wide table) and 2016 isn’t looking to shape up much differently, at least not at this point. Attendance hasn’t been great in Commerce City for some time now, so bringing in a player with Howard’s recognition would undoubtedly boost interest in the team locally, but how much better would allocating well over $400,000 of salary cap space to a goalkeeper really make them? Perhaps we will find out.