Colorado Rapids defiant despite loss of Drew Moor, Shane O'Neill: "You cannot take our will to fight"
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids probably couldn’t have imagined a worse injury than the one that befell team captain Drew Moor on Sunday night.
The 30-year-old center back suffered a torn ACL in his right knee as he defended Luis Silva on the first goal in a 4-2 loss to D.C. United, andt the Rapids announced Tuesday morning that he will miss the rest of the season as a result.
With injuries hitting the back line hard in recent weeks, Colorado are likely to turn to a trio of youngsters to help fill Moor’s void. Rookie Jared Watts, who subbed in for Moor on Sunday after he suffered the injury in the 12th minute, is likely to get the first chance, along with fellow rookie Grant Van De Casteele and 22-year-old Gale Agbossoumonde, Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said on Tuesday.
Veteran Marc Burch, who has served as a left back this season, can also play center back if needed.
“You can take our arms, you can take our legs, you can take our captain, but what you cannot take is our will to fight,” a defiant Mastroeni told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday on the news of Moor’s injury. “In losing such a critical piece of the team, you hope that there’s a response.”
To make matters worse, it appears that fellow center back Shane O’Neill, who is battling a sprained right knee, may be done for the season, according to Mastroeni.
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“My expectations are [that] we won’t see Shane for the rest of the year,” Mastroeni said of the 20-year-old. “If we do, I’m shocked in a positive light.”
No decision on an interim captain in Moor’s absence has been made yet, according to the coach.
The Rapids will not make any short-term additions to address the missing defenders, technical director Paul Bravo told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday morning. While a defender could still be added, it wouldn’t be as a reaction to the defensive injury crisis that has hit the club in the last few days, reinforcing the commitment to the team’s younger defenders, at least for the short term.
“There’s cover there,” Bravo said. “We just need guys to step up. That’s the most important thing.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.