One Big Question: Can Distressed Assets SC be a winning proposition in 2020?
The Rapids were good and fun and played some of the best ball in the league after making a coaching change, and that has justifiably gotten a lot of the shine. But let's focus on their transfer window approach starting in summer 2018:
- July 2018: Acquired USMNT CM Kellyn Acosta from FC Dallas for back-up striker Dom Badji and an international roster slot.
- December 2018: Acquired strikers Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio, FB Keegan Rosenberry and midfielder Nico Mezquida on low-cost intraleague trades.
- May 2019: Purchased Jonathan Lewis from NYCFC for $650k TAM (could rise to $750k) and got Lalas Abubakar on loan from Columbus for the season.
- November 2019: Made Abubakar's loan permanent for $400k GAM, and traded a combination of GAM and TAM (up to $750k) for Philly's USYNT CB Auston Trusty.
Colorado basically put a pause on their mostly disastrous overseas shopping predilection (of their big winter of 2017/18 spend, only Jack Price has worked out) and decided to see if they could find value within the league. The fact that they played at a 60-point pace and guys like Mezquida, Lewis and especially Abubakar showed out for the vast majority of last year says they could.
But now there are expectations, and there's more depth and competition, and there's no guarantee that some of the magic that propelled this team last year has been bottled (no way they score that many set-piece goals again, for one). And they're in a league matching up against teams with $30 million transfer budgets.
It's a huge mountain to climb and will be even if they manage to sign Danish playmaker Younes Namli – who will maybe come at a cut rate because he's been played out of position in Russia, and yes, that makes him a snug fit amongst the other distressed assets on the roster.
Colorado are playing a different game. It was fascinating to see it work so well last year, but they need to take it one step further this year.