Team Guides - 2017 - Howard 1600x1200

Colorado Rapids

Author: Ben Baer  |  Cover illustration by Duane Tomaszewski

The 2016 season was a dream for the Colorado Rapids, as they finished 2nd in the Western Conference and made the Western Conference Championship after many people picked them to finish last. Defense is what led them, as they conceded just 32 goals and set a new mark for fewest goals against per game at home. Not much was done in the offseason, as Pablo Mastroeni's team hopes to replicate their 2016 form.

Key Offseason Transactions

Bismark Adjei-Boateng (M)
Alan Gordon (F)
Kortne Ford (D) All transactions
Jermaine Jones (M)
Sebastien Le Toux (M)
Marco Pappa (M)

Player to watch: Tim Howard

Howard will likely miss the start of the season, but there's no denying the impact he had in just 17 games last season. While Zac MacMath was solid between the pipes in the first half of the season, Howard's command of the box and leadership helped spur the Rapids' run.

How they'll play


The Rapids will again sit in their low defensive block hoping to stifle any opposing advances. Offensively, they will look to Shkelzen Gashi to improve upon a solid first season in MLS.

Projected Starting XI

Colorado Rapids | 2017 Team Guide -

4-2-3-1, right to left: Tim Howard (GK) — Eric Miller (D), Jared Watts (D), Axel Sjoberg (D), Marc Burch (D) — Sam Cronin (M), Bismark Adjei-Boateng (M) — Marlon Hairston (M), Kevin Doyle (F), Shkelzen Gashi (M) – Dominique Badji (F)

Projected Finish

5th in Western Conference. The kind of performances that the Rapids were able to string together during the 2016 season will be extremely tough to replicate for another season. Their defensive approach should be able to carry them back to the playoffs, but without added firepower offensively, they are unlikely to improve in the standings.

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