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MLS Preview

Colorado Rapids Captured in One Word: "Rejuvenated"

We decided to cut through the noise and craft short MLS team previews built around a one-word descriptor. Can head man Oscar Pareja help the Rocky Mountain's finest recapture its form?
BY Matt Thacker Posted
February 28, 2013
12:00 PM
Despite regularly qualifying for the playoffs and even winning MLS Cup, the Colorado Rapids have not finished better than fourth in the Western Conference since 2005. After falling off the pace last year, the Rapids cut the oft-injured Omar Cummings and Conor Casey, choosing to go younger and faster.

The new-look roster seems better equipped for Oscar Pareja’s attack-minded 4-3-3 formation with speed to kill on the outside. The team has great depth and experience in midfield with the additions of Nick LaBrocca and Nathan Sturgis, and the return of Pablo Mastroeni—who missed last season with a head injury. Signing striker Edson Buddle, who is also dealing with injuries, was a risk but one with potentially great rewards if he returns to somewhere near the form he showed with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2010.

Ultimately, the Rapids are limited by an unwillingness to spend on top players, but a group of promising young midfielders, including Martín Rivero, Tony Cascio, and Kevin Harbottle, should inject life into a team that was headed in the wrong direction.

EXPECTED FINISH: 8th in Western Conference. Rebuilding takes time, and mounting injuries to key players even before the season begins could slow that process.

OK, your turn to chime in. Is "rejuvenated" the right word to describe this team? If not, what would you choose? Tell us below.

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