After being named the team’s 2012 Young Player of the Year in his first season with the Colorado Rapids, Martín Rivero had a much more difficult 2013 season plagued with an early injury that allowed him to only play in half of the matches this year. Still, the Rapids have high hopes for the 24-year-old midfielder and are currently in the process of negotiating a new contract with the Argentinian that will bring him back in 2014.
“Martín came to us originally under a two-year loan,” explained Colorado Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo to ColoradoRapids.com. “If we had picked up the pre-agreed option for him to come back in 2014, that would’ve meant a purchase, and we’ve declined that purchase price.”
Colorado signed Rivero on February 16, 2012 following a four-year run with Argentinian side Rosario Central. A native of Roldan, Santa Fe, Argentina, Rivero made his first division debut with Rosario Central in 2008 at the age of 18, having come up through the youth ranks at the club.
Upon signing, his Rapids debut was delayed until FIFA's General Secretary Jerome Valcke stepped in to grant his provisional international transfer certificate. In his first season, he led the Rapids with eight assists and added two goals as he played in 30 of the team’s 34 matches on his way to being named the club’s Young Player of the Year.
“He’s a quality player that still has a lot of potential, and didn’t quite get to show his best this year because of an early injury and the emergence of some other players,” said Bravo of Rivero. “We’re now working behind the scenes to renegotiate and see if there’s a way to bring Martín back in 2014.”
During the Rapids’ first 2013 preseason match on January 29, Rivero suffered a right foot fracture that required surgery and a 2-3 month rehab. Rivero returned to the pitch on May 28 at Houston, however various injuries limited him. He started 6 of the 16 matches he appeared in, providing three assists and one goal.