The Offseason So Far: The Juan Ramirez Era is officially over. Pour one out:
Ramirez, who was on the books for three years, has to go down as one of the very worst uses of a DP slot in league history (tho ironically, not even the very worst use of one last year – somewhere Anibal Chala is smiling).
That frees some room up, as does an offseason exodus of veterans myriad and sundry (they'll miss Alan Gordon). And that's freed up new coach Anthony Hudson to sign a mix of 30-something Scandinavians and New Zealand internationals in what appears to be an earnest attempt to replicate the early-season success Minnesota United had last year.
JAN. 2 UPDATE: Get to know French attacker Aldo Kalulu, maybe? There are rumors out of France that the Lyon youngster (he's 21) could be/will be headed to Commerce City on loan for 2018.
Kalulu, who's appeared a few times for Les Bleus at the youth levels, spent the autumn on loan at Sochaux in Ligue 2 where he grabbed 4g/2a in 18 games, mostly as a right winger. Stefan Aigner and Johan Blomberg are both right wingers as well, and it's a good bet that one of those is being looked at as the team's central, creative hub for the coming season.
JAN. 24 UPDATE: We still don't know Kalulu and it looks like we probably won't. It also seems quite likely that Aigner will be the creative hub for Colorado – and might do so as a second forward rather than as a pure midfielder. Hudson's married to the 3-5-2, but if Aigner's on the "2" line it could end up looking much more of a 3-5-1-1, and hey that's how Argentina played in the 1986 World Cup so I say shoot your shot.
The real work Colorado's done thus far has come in defense. Since the last update they've added Ipswich Town CB Tommy Smith (a Kiwi who played for Hudson), defensive midfielder Jack Price and former USMNT left wingback/fullback Edgar Castillo.
While the rest of MLS zigs down to Latin America, Colorado are zagging across the pond. Four of their five big signings since last summer are from the old world, and Castillo is the only player on the entire roster with experience south of the Rio Grande.
One of the existential questions MLS fans and GMs and owners have asked since Day 1 is "Where's the best place to look for talent?" The Rapids have come to a different conclusion than most everyone else in the league, and it'll be fascinating to see how it plays out.