Versatile Harris relishes potential rebirth with Rapids

Midfielder / forward excited at chance to come to Colorado, get on the field

Atiba Harris feels that he wasn’t given a fair shake in Vancouver. But now, the 27-year-old St. Kitts and Nevis international has an opportunity to prove himself under a former coach.

Harris was acquired by the Colorado Rapids on Monday for a 2015-16 international spot and will compete for a role in his new team’s strike force. The tall, speedy striker is happy to be out of Vancouver, where he received limited opportunities during his two-year stay at BC Place.

“I was really excited [when I found out about the trade],” Harris told MLSsoccer.com by phone from Los Angeles on Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to playing in Colorado and making the city proud.”

The seven-year MLS veteran’s appeal to the Rapids is obvious: He has experience playing in Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja’s preferred 4-3-3 system while at FC Dallas under Schellas Hyndman, and he can play in both the midfield and up top, although he’s likely to get most of his time as a wing striker. But regardless of where he is on the field, Harris’ lone goal is to get on it, no matter where it is on the pitch.

“I just want to be on the field, I just want to play,” Harris said when asked of his preferred position. “I think anywhere. Left, wide or middle, I can see myself playing either of those positions because I’ve done it before.”

Now, Harris has a chance to prove himself once again with former coach Oscar Pareja, who was an assistant coach with FC Dallas in 2009 and 2010.

“Oscar is a class act and is an amazing person,” Harris said. “I think just having someone that I’m familiar with from my Dallas days is really going to help me settle into this club.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.