Success in MLS Cup means waiting patiently when it comes to draft picks. So for reigning MLS Cup champions Colorado, having the 16th overall pick in Wednesday's first stage of the Re-Entry draft is perfect.
As a matter of fact, head coach Gary Smith says that even if the Rapids had a much earlier pick, it was unlikely they would play a very active part in it. Speaking to MLSsoccer.com from England, where he's on a two-week visit to his home country, Smith said that while there are some attractive names on the Re-Entry list, such players are unlikely to find their way to Colorado.
“We have a group of players that have done well and, to keep that group together, [a player chosen in the draft] will be taking up a lot of the salary cap and there just isn’t that much wiggle room,” Smith said. “I do think there are some very decent names in that draft, but looking at what our team needs, I don’t see it in some of the individuals that are on offer.”
Smith picked out two names in particular from the Re-Entry Draft: Jimmy Conrad and Frankie Hejduk. The Rapids coach believes the veteran Hejduk still has “plenty of mileage” left in him and that Conrad would be an obvious replacement for the recently departed Julien Baudet.
Neither player, however, would be affordable.
“We lost a man and a leader in Julien, and Jimmy would fit in very nicely, but he’s not going to come and play for us for [a smaller salary],” he said. “There are plenty of other clubs who are in a better position to start offering a better deal.”
Smith has said recently that he is looking for another central defender to back-up first choice Marvell Wynne and Drew Moor, as well as Scott Palguta.
While the Rapids boss did say any additions to the club would likely come from January’s SuperDraft or from outside MLS (Smith is to have meetings this week with agents of players currently in Europe), he didn’t rule out making a move on Wednesday.
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