Unless the Colorado Rapids or Hendry Thomas budge in contract talks, one of the Rapids’ key players from a year ago might not be back in Colorado next season.
A source told MLSsoccer.com this week that Thomas is seeking Designated Player-type money while in contract talks with the Rapids, and Colorado do not want to give the defensive midfielder that steep of a salary, creating an impasse in discussions to bring back the tough-tackling Honduran for a second full season at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
A club spokesman confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday that the team remains in contact with Thomas about the possibility of returning to the Rapids in 2014, but declined to comment about the status of negotiations.
In somewhat of a surprise, the Rapids declined Thomas’ contract option in December but have continued negotiating with the 28-year-old since.
A source close to Thomas told FutbolMLS.com this week that the Honduran international is very happy in Colorado, but he has recieved other offers from teams in Europe. The source declined to comment if Hendry has asked for a pay increase since the conclusion of last season.
Thomas was a critical part of the Rapids’ defensive turnaround in 2013, acting as essentially a fifth defender just in front of the back four while also providing veteran leadership by filling in as captain at points last season and scoring two goals in 27 starts. The 2010 World Cup veteran has been a regular in the starting lineup since his August 2012 acquisition from Wigan Athletic, then of the English Premier League.
In-house options to potentially replace Thomas include reigning Rookie of the Year Dillon Powers, who played in more of an attacking role last season but has traditionally played more defensively in the midfielder, 2013 surprise Nathan Sturgis or youngster Shane O’Neill, who played center back last season but wants to play in the midfield next year.
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The Rapids also have four international spots available for use, and they’ve been active in the international market the last few seasons, particularly in Central and South America.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.