Smith intends to give Pareja a 'selection headache'
Watch: Smith scores in preseason win over San Jose on Feb. 2, 2013
When the 2012 season ended, Jamie Smith didn't know if he'd be back for a fifth season with the Colorado Rapids. That doubt was erased on Friday when the club announced that the Scotsman had been re-signed for the upcoming season.
"There was a period of not knowing what was going to happen, but we're beyond that now and my contract is signed and I'm just excited to continue playing for the Rapids," Smith told ColoradoRapids.com. "I've made it clear that I enjoy being here. My family love it, and I love it. I feel a part of this club and a part of the team and I'm excited to progress things."
Smith missed much of 2012 while recuperating from a torn ACL that he sustained late in the previous season. Once he had fully recovered, the 32-year-old saw limited first team playing time, though he did contribute two goals in his 10 appearances.
In a way, the lack of minutes may have benefitted the midfielder.
"I think it has," Smith said. "(Not playing much) has renewed a real desire within me to get back on the field and play again, and a hunger to win games and score goals."
Smith also played five Reserve Team matches last year, tying Andre Akpan for the team lead with four goals.
Now in his 14th professional season, he has made it clear that while he's fully willing to help out younger players, he wants to compete for playing time.
"I spoke to the coach and I told him that my plan was to give him a selection headache," Smith said, smiling. "In an ideal world I want to stay healthy. I'm here as a player and if (Oscar Pareja) needs me to put an arm around one of the younger guys, mentor or help them in whatever way, than of course I can do that."
Smith joins a crowded midfield that combines years of experience with youth. He's hoping his versatitily in playing centrally or on the wings gives the staff flexibitlity. Last weekend Smith scored the lone goal in the team's 1-0 preseason win over the San Jose Earthquakes in Arizona, perhaps a reminder of what he can contribute (watch above).
"Like I said to Oscar, I want to play," Smith added.