Commerce City, Colo. – Less than a day after returning from the Arizona-leg of preseason training, the Rapids coaching staff made decisions on the eight players that have been on trial with the team for the past few weeks.
“All of them have given a very good account of themselves,” said head coach Gary Smith. “They’ve conducted themselves extremely well, and I think from a purely professional standpoint the guys have been terrific.”
Smith said that Steven Emory, Mike Holody, and Eddie Ababio have all been offered contracts and he hopes they agree to become part of the squad.
“Eddie, as a right back, possesses all the right physical attributes moving forward,” Smith said of the team’s first round SuperDraft selection.
“Mike is a guy we’ve had around for a couple of years and invested a lot of time and effort into, and he’s come back with an added energy and vigor to make it work,” he said of Holody, who the club drafted in 2009 but released late in 2010 due to salary cap constraints.
“Steven Emory was probably the outsider when the preseason started to maybe secure a contract,” said Smith.
Emory played in the Rapids Academy before attending Metro State University. The midfielder caught the eye of the Rapids coaching staff at the club’s tryouts in January and has been with the team all preseason.
“He’s the epitome of an individual who’s been given a chance and he’s taken it with both hands,” added Smith. “He scored two goals, had an assist, played at probably the highest level he’s every played at against Columbus and LA and not looked out of place. He’s shown some very nice qualities and he’s an individual that all the coaches felt had a future and some real potential to work with.”
Smith is also optimistic that the club can reach an agreement with Hull City forward Caleb Folan, who has returned to England.
“We remain extremely positive,” he said. “Caleb’s fit in terrifically with the group and he’s shown us that the qualities he has would be a very, very good addition for our team. We want him here, it sounds like the player is excited to be here, and Hull City have been very helpful throughout this process. All in all we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope that there’s some agreement we can come to.”
Finally, Smith confirmed that the club has released Andy Lorei, Adrian Leroy, TJ Murray, and Logan Emory.
“Some of the qualities that they’ve offered will certainly stay with us and we’ll remember,” added Smith. “If indeed the opportunity comes up they are certainly going to be in our thoughts.”
The team will continue training at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park until departing for Santa Barbara, California for preseason games on March 1.