Those of you who have been following the Rapids since the early days will remember the name Ross Paule - the bleached blond Rapids midfielder that played for the club from 1997-2001. It was announced today that Ross will be recognized by his alma mater when he's inducted into the Creighton University Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Rapids selected Paule 11th overall in the 1997 MLS SuperDraft - the first pick the 2nd Round at the time. In just his second season, he was named the team's Most Valuable player after scoring 10 goals (behind Paul Bravo (11) and Wolde Harris (13)), and earned the first of back-to-back MLS All-Star invites.
He was traded to New York in August 2001 for defender Steve Shak and an exchange of draft picks. Although expectations were high for Shak, the previous year's overall top pick, history tells us that the trade did not benefit the Rapids as they'd hoped. Shak played five games for the Rapids that year, and only one in 2002, his last in MLS. Meanwhile, Paule was a regular for NY the next year and finished his career with two solid seasons in Columbus with the Crew before being forced to retire with ongoing concussion symptoms.
In nearly five full seasons, he played 111 regular season games and his 18 career goals still ranks him 10th all-time.