Colorado Rapids president Tim Hinchey raised an eyebrow or two when he labeled 11th overall pick Dillon Powers a "young Jeff Larentowicz" after Thursday’s SuperDraft. But Hinchey’s not the only one to have put big expectations on the shoulders of the Notre Dame midfielder, who was selected with the second of the Rapids’ two first-round picks.
“Paul [Bravo] said I had some big shoes to fill, which was good to hear,” Powers told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday, referring to the expectations of the Colorado technical director. “It’s exciting that I have new challenges in front of me. I still think I have to earn that [Larentowicz] comparison, especially early on in preseason.”
Larentowicz, who was traded last week, was one of the Rapids’ key figures in their MLS Cup 2010 run, and racked up 95 starts in three seasons with Colorado after being acquired in January 2010. He was best known as a tough tackling, steady ball distributor while also being able to come up and supplement the attack on occasion.
Powers thinks he can help fill that void, given time.
“I think any player should be ready to play, wanting to play,” Powers said. “I think I’ve had a lot of experience over the years that’s led to the maturity that I think if I am called upon, I think I’m ready to handle that role.”
Kindle falls to Colorado at 25
Almost every mock draft leading up to Thursday’s real thing had CSU Bakersfield left back Kory Kindle projected somewhere in the mid-to-late first round. He ended up falling to the Rapids in the second round at 25th overall, but it didn’t faze the Ventura, Calif., native one bit.
“It was just great news when the Rapids called me,” Kindle told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday.
Left back has been a problem spot for Colorado over the last two years, and the Rapids drafted Kindle with the idea of developing a long-term solution at the position. With last year’s primary left back Luis Zapata not returning in 2013, there could be opportunity for Kindle to see early minutes with a quick showing in preseason.
“I’m at left back, and I like to get forward, and I like to defend,” Kindle said. “I want to help the team in any way that I can.”
As things stand, Anthony Wallace and Chris Klute will likely compete with Kindle for minutes in 2013. Wallace is returning from a knee injury which kept him out of action in 2012 but has the most experience between the three.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.