First Conor Casey, and now Omar Cummings. The Colorado Rapids are officially moving on.
Rapids officials confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Saturday night that they have dealt the Jamaican international Cummings to the Houston Dynamo for journeyman midfielder Nathan Sturgis and allocation money, the club’s latest move to embrace a new identity under second-year head coach Oscar Pareja.
The club parted ways with Casey last month before he was scooped up in the Re-Entry Draft by Philadelphia, and they brought in former Best XI striker and World Cup veteran Edson Buddle last week. The move to jettison Cummings comes after he underperformed in 2012 and at times fell out of favor while the Rapids missed the postseason for the first time in three years.
Cummings and Casey formed one of the most dangerous front line tandems in the league during the team’s MLS Cup run in 2010, thanks to 14 goals from the speedster Cummings and 13 from the bruiser Casey. But sour form and injuries to both players since then – an Achilles’ tendon tear for Casey in 2011 and a host of nagging issues for Cummings each of the past two seasons – helped limit the duo to just eight combined goals in 2012.
Cummings, 30, scored just nine goals over 54 regular season games in 2011-12, a far cry from the career numbers he posted in 2010 and an eight-goal,12-assist effort in a breakout year in 2009. He was named to the MLS All-Star team in 2011 and scored the team’s lone postseason goal later that year.
Cummings has also scored seven goals in 28 appearances for the Jamaican national team.
He moves to a Dynamo team fresh off a second consecutive MLS Cup appearance and with rising star Will Bruin as the team’s top scorer, with 12 goals last year. Speedster Calen Carr was also a valuable starter before he suffered a torn ACL in the MLS Cup, and veterans Brian Ching and Cam Weaver are options off the bench.
Sturgis, 25, joins the sixth team of an MLS career that began with the LA Galaxy in 2006. His best season came with the Seattle Sounders in 2010, when he scored one goal and added two assists in 20 appearances. He played in just five games for the Dynamo in 2012, and he’ll likely provide depth in the Rapids’ defensive midfield behind the likes of starting options Jeff Larentowicz, Hendry Thomas and veteran captain Pablo Mastroeni.