Huntin’ Rapids

colorado rapids gary smith nashville SC MLS
“Throwback Rapids jersey” definitel something I wasn’t expecting to ever put on the internet.

It’s a bad Elmer Fudd joke, you see.

So far, the two “big name” signings Nashville SC has made for the inaugural season have a common thread: they played for Gary Smith’s 2010 MLS Championship team in Colorado. Who else from that team is still kickin’? And will any of them continue along the path of their former teammates?

I’ll note that this is not an inside-information post, just noticing a pattern and seeing what would make logical sense.

Danny Earls

  • M
  • Age: 28
  • Hometown: Wicklow, Ireland
  • 2017 club: Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Only made ten appearances for the Riverhounds this season and 13 last year (after at least 26 in the previous two years). The team was one of the poorest in USL, so even if his form has fallen off to a level that he can’t get on the field for them, a change of scenery – to a team coached by a dude for whom he made 18 appearances in an MLS championship season – might not be a bad idea.

Drew Moor

  • D
  • Age: 33
  • Hometown: Dallas
  • 2017 club: Toronto FC

Missed part of this season with a similar heart condition to USMNT star Clint Dempsey. “Fulltime starter for an MLS Cup team” might be playing at a little higher level than a USL expansion squad, even if he’s getting up in years. He is out of contract with TFC and worth a try nonetheless.

Jeff Larentowicz

  • M
  • Age: 34
  • Hometown: Pasadena, Calif.
  • 2017 club: Atlanta United

Was a starter for MLS first-year squad Atlanta United, though he’s out of contract after his one-year deal expired. Fans seem to be divided on whether re-signing Larentowicz (his option was declined) is worth a high price for ATL, which would probably price him out of NSC unless he’s interested in a pay cut to be reunited with Smith.

Anthony Wallace

  • D
  • Age: 28
  • Hometown: New York
  • 2017 club: OKC Energy

Wallace is a relatively young guy to have won an MLS Cup the better part of a decade ago, and he was released by the OKC Energy (where he played with recent signing CJ Cochran) at the end of this season. A familiar face – Wallace played all but one game this year – could help Cochran acclimate to new surroundings.

Macoumba Kandji

  • F
  • Age: 32
  • Hometown: Dakar, Senegal
  • 2017 club: Inter Turku (Finland)

Kandji is a starter for an Inter Turku team that finished ninth in a 12-team league last year. He scored five goals in 25 appearances. The Finnish league is certainly not on the MLS level… not sure how it would compare to USL (though salaries seem to be lower).

Quincy Amarikwa

  • F
  • Age: 30
  • Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
  • 2017 club: San Jose Earthquakes

Amarikwa remains under contract with the Earthquakes.

Marvell Wynne (is still playing?!?! and is not that old?!?!)

  • D
  • Age: 31
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh
  • 2017 club: San Jose Earthquakes

Wynne sat out the entire 2017 season with a heart condition. Sounds unlikely that playing longer than his ability to contribute at the MLS level is probably not likely.

Davy Armstrong

  • M
  • Age: 26
  • Hometown: Aurora, Colo.
  • 2017 club: Colorado Springs Switchbacks

Armstrong got just five appearances for the Switchbacks this year (and they were a mid-bottom squad in the Western Conference), and is close to his hometown. He never saw the field in an MLS match under Smith, either.

Steward Ceus

  • GK
  • Age: 30
  • West Haverstraw, N.Y.
  • 2017 club: San Francisco Deltas

NSC has two goalkeepers already in the fold, and a guy who didn’t see the field once this season probably isn’t a priority, given his age. Of course, he’ll be out of contract, given that his team no longer exists.

So…?

There aren’t too many guys in this category who are both available and potentially helpful. Danny Earls (meh) and Anthony Wallace seem most likely, with a moonshot at Drew Moor or Jeff Larentowicz possible but not likely?

While the first couple waves of player announcements were headlined by former Rapids, that well is likely to dry up very soon.

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