COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – If the Colorado Rapids do sign their first-ever Designated Player this offseason, it won’t be a veteran player who is looking to finish his career in MLS with a nice paycheck.
That’s according to new club president Tim Hinchey, who told MLSsoccer.com on Monday that the club is interested in someone around whom the Rapids would like to build a creative, possession-oriented game.
And with the appointment last week of new head coach and former Colombian international Oscar Pareja, such a player would also likely come from Latin America.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about a possible DP,” Hinchey said. “I think we are interested in identifying young, exciting and talented players at a DP level. Oscar has already given us a great list of players. I haven’t been involved in all the conversations, but it wouldn’t surprise me there would be players from Colombia.”
The latest player linked to the Rapids is, in fact, a 28-year-old Colombian midfielder. The Denver Post has reported that the club has been in discussions with Jaime Castrillón, who has scored five goals in 29 appearances for the Colombian national team.
If Castrillón does come on board in 2012, he’ll join a core group of Rapids players that Hinchey said are very motivated to return to the postseason. Technical director Paul Bravo sought out the opinions of veterans like Conor Casey, Drew Moor and Pablo Mastroeni about how the club will go forward under Pareja, but the team that won the 2010 MLS Cup is still very much the same as it was then.
“I think there is no question that we have a very talented group,” Hinchey said. “We are not as old as people think we are. There’s a lot left in this side, and I am pretty excited about it.”
Hinchey also revealed that an international friendly game was likely in the cards this year. That may be in the form of a Premiership club, two of which have contacted the Rapids recently about possible EPL offseason training opportunities at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Colorado players are due to meet later this month for preseason training. Their preseason will include a four-team tournament in Hawaii from Feb. 23-25.