KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Wells Thompson was battered and bruised after an intense 90 minutes of effort Wednesday night for the Colorado Rapids in their 1-1 tie with Sporting Kansas City, but was just happy to be out on the field.
Thompson got the start for the Rapids because outside midfielders Jamie Smith and Brian Mullan, who are nursing injuries, were forced to stay back in Colorado.
It’s been a familiar situation for Thompson, who has been in and out of the starting line-up since his move to Colorado from New England at the start of the 2010 season. His longest run of starts was during Mullan’s recent 10-game suspension. However, as soon as Mullan became available, the veteran was reinserted into the starting lineup at Thompson’s expense.
“It’s frustrating because I want to be out here playing games and helping the team,” Thompson told MLSsoccer.com. “I think I’ve played well. There are times when I have played good soccer.”
The thing that has been lacking during his run of games, by his own admission, is Thompson’s attacking effectiveness. The midfielder has yet to score or register an assist this season.
“I feel I’m more than capable of doing that, but for some reason it hasn’t happened,” he said.
Despite the lack of offensive production, head coach Gary Smith is very pleased with the progress he has seen in Thompson during his extended run in the starting lineup.
“I think he’s seen a chance, an opportunity to come in and make a difference,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com after the SKC draw. “He is now an important cog in the wheel where before he may have felt more like a bit part.”
Thompson agrees with the assessment.
“There’s no doubt, that run of games helped me with my confidence,” Thompson said. “It’s like life — you just have to keep plugging away and pick yourself back up. I’m just looking forward to the next opportunity.”
That may come as soon as Saturday when the Rapids play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online). With Mullan and Smith still doubtful, Thompson could well get the start again.