The game in 200 words (or less): What the Colorado Rapids could have been if they had appointed Robin Fraser earlier this season. Sure, the Western Conference is no walk in the park, but there are currently very few teams playing as inspired as the Rapids. A longtime forgotten assistant, Fraser has brought hope to Commerce City by doing what both Anthony Hudson and interim Conor Casey couldn’t do: empower the youth. In his first game at the helm, 22-year-old Jonathan Lewis scored the first double of his young career. On Saturday, Andre Shinyashiki recorded his own in the Rapids’ 2-0 win over a depleted Seattle Sounders, who were 10 players short due to international duty. Regardless, Colorado, for a second week in a row, put on a commendable performance with their newfound proactive scheme. The new era is certainly welcomed at Dick’s Sporting Good Park, regardless if the Rapids’ playoff chances are long out the window.
Three moments that mattered
41′ — Shinyashiki puts Colorado ahead — There aren’t many rookies playing better than the 22-year-old.
70′ — Shinyashiki records a double — Seven goals this season for the Rapids forward.
86′ — Stefan Frei with the point-blank save — This has to be the Save of the Week.
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Man of the match: Andre Shinyashiki
Goalscorers: Shinyashiki (41′), Shinyashiki (70′)
Friday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft is considered relatively shallow, but there are some big talents near the top.
FC Cincinnati has the first pick in the draft, and nine more after acquiring all of Philadelphia’s picks on Wednesday.
[ MORE: Willian-Malcom swap? ]
The draft begins at 1 p.m. ET Friday from the USC Convention in Chicago. Here are a few names to monitor.
Dayne St. Clair, Maryland — A 6-foot-3 goalkeeper, the Canadian has played every minute of the past two seasons for the National Champions. St. Clair could one day be across the field from fellow former Terp and USMNT backstop Zack Steffen on international duty.
Andre Shinyashiki, Denver — There are some who judge the 5-foot-9 Brazilian upon the Summit League’s relatively low depth, but Shinyashiki’s outstanding 28-goal campaign included markers against Washington and SMU as well. He scored 51 goals with 15 assists on 285 (!!) shots in four seasons.
Tajon Buchanan, Syracuse — The sophomore improved his stats this season and is an exceptional athlete. The second-year Canadian has a long future in the game, and should go in the Top Ten.
Anderson Asiedu, UCLA — The diminutive midfielder from New Jersey was a star at Monmouth before surprisingly moving — transfer culture is bonkers these days — across the country and proving just as effective in a more challenging conference.
John Nelson, North Carolina — Left backs don’t grow on trees, and the Ohio-born Nelson has been a star for the Tar Heels across two seasons. At such a young age, Nelson could man the left side — maybe doing a reverse Zusi and moving into the midfield — for a team for a long time.