Rapids, Zat Knight part ways…

The “Zat Knight experiment” is over.

According to the coloradorapids.com, Knight and the Rapids have parted ways on mutual consent. Knight made 4 appearances last season in the final 4 games in an effort to add experience to the backline and leadership on the field.

I dont think myself or other Rapids fans will lose any sleep over this decision.

Full story here.

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Rapids protected and unprotected lists heading into the expansion draft…

MLS has released each teams protected and unprotected lists as we head into Wednesday’s expansion draft. Below are the Rapids lists. Select Homegrown players and all Generation Adidas players are automatically protected.

The Rapids wasted a spot on the protected list. How and why is Zat Knight on the list of protected players I’ll never understand. What is the club thinking?

11 Protected                        Automatically Protected
Deshorn Brown (Int’l)           Davy Armstrong (Homegrown)
Michael Harrington               Caleb Calvert (Homegrown)
Clint Irwin                             Marlon Hairston (Generation adidas)
Chris Klute                            Shane O’Neill (Homegrown)
Zat Knight (Int’l)                   Dillon Serna (Homegrown)
Nick LaBrocca
Drew Moor
Dillon Powers
Vicente Sanchez (Int’l)
Gabriel Torres (Int’l)
Jared Watts

 

Unprotected list

Gale Agbossoumonde
Edson Buddle
Marc Burch
Tony Cascio
Geoffrey Castillion (Int’l)
Kamani Hill
Dimitry Imbongo (Int’l)
Jose Mari (Int’l)
Brian Mullan
Danny Mwanga
Thomas Piermayr (Int’l)
Marvell Wynne
Carlos Alvarez
John Berner
Charles Eloundou (Int’l)
John Neeskens
Grant van de Casteele

The Full 90 – Whitecaps FC vs Rapids observations…

Well the season has finally officially come to an end. The Rapids drop the season finale to the Whitecaps 1-0. This I have to say was the best effort overall in both halves put together by the Rapids during the now 14 game winless streak. That’s not to say there wasn’t some areas where the team could improve.

Possession was horrible, 40%. Passing wasnt much better. Too many balls being played over the top into no waiting Rapids player and into the opposing team. The midfield needs someone who can possess the ball, move it and start the attack. Defense was much better as a whole in this game even after losing Marvell Wynne to injury. The exception of course being the set piece the Whitecaps scored on a header in the 18. Which brings me to Zat Knight. Please let’s go ahead now and shelve the Zat Knight experiment. Sure we maybe needed the experience on the back line due to injuries a few weeks ago, but in the 3.5 matches he’s played in, he’s provided nothing of any positive aspect to the team. Clearly Knight at 6’6″, 225 and as the captain he should have been marking the Whitecaps Kendall Waston (6’5″, 215) inside the 18 and not Deshorn Brown. A captain needs to see the situation and make those decisions.

I love Eloundou up top, hopefully he will see more time with the first team in 2015. He seems to be the one forward who consistently makes good runs on and off the ball, making himself a threat on the offensive side. Deshorn is still the bigger scoring threat on the team but Eloundou is a breath of fresh air in the attacking third.

I hope Drew Moor isn’t getting too comfortable in his after playing days role as a media personality while he’s been out. He’s done podcasts, video and tonight was behind the desk with Marcelo and Fleming in the Rapids pre and post game. He certainly looks comfortable in that role, but let’s not rush him to retirement just yet.

2014 is done for the Rapids as we start to look forward to following the MLS playoffs. The Rapids have a ton of questions to answer in the offseason to say the least.

The Full 90 – Rapids vs Sounders FC observations…

On paper, this was a definite win for the Sounders no matter how you look at it. But as the old saying goes, the games arent played on paper. It’s probably a good thing the games arent played on paper, because the score wouldv’e been worse than the 4-1 beating the Rapids were handed Sunday afternoon. The Rapids are officially out of the playoffs after Sundays loss to the Sounders.

Defense, defense, defense! Where was the defense? I know it’s a question we’ve been asking the last few weeks and again Sunday. As many would agree, it was great to see Clint Irwin back between the pipes, though his back line in front of him didnt do a whole lot to help the cause. Irwin did make a few nice saves, but he cant save everything and the defense needs to be better, we all can agree. I dont know if Nasco or Berner would have fared any better in net. I still believe Irwin gives us the best chance in net overall.

It was also great to get a first look at the newly acquired 6’6″ 225lbs, Zat Knight in the second half of the game. I will say that despite Wynne’s mistake on a goal given up in the first half, that I do question Pablo’s substitution of Knight coming in for Wynne. Knight is a wall of a defender in his size alone and he’s not gonna be as quick as when Dempsey or Martins come speeding into the 18. Since it seems like Pablo has given up on the remainder of the season and is experimenting with lineups, I say why not leave your speediest defender (Wynne) on the field with Knight at the same time?

Here are a few photos I took from Saturday.

Offensively the team seemed to be missing a gear. Passing was slow, sloppy and misdirected(I’m looking at you LaBrocca, though you weren’t the only one!). There were some bright spots and some chances created. Good to see Torres get his second consecutive start also.

The team heads to Chivas for the final time (maybe for good). Chivas won their game over Salt Lake on Sunday ending their 12 game winless streak and are gonna come into this weekend’s match hungry to put together consecutive wins. This is the game the Rapids desparetely need to end their own 11 game winless streak, of course I thought that same thing before the San Jose game last weekend prior too.

Go Rapids!!!