Get to Know: Shortlist of Nominees for Colorado Rapids Best XI

Voting is now open to determine the best lineup in Colorado Rapids history!

The shortlist of nominees below was determined in honor of the 25th season of MLS and the Rapids and voting is open until Saturday, April 25. 

Three fans will be selected at random to win one of the following prizes:

  • A 2020 MLS game ball autographed by a current Rapids player of their choosing
  • A 2020 team-signed jersey
  • Four tickets to a Rapids home game

Click here to vote now, and check out more information on the list of nominees below. Fans may select one goalkeeper, up to four defenders, up to four midfielders and two forwards.

Goalkeepers

Joe Cannon

Years with the Rapids: 2003-2006

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 86/85

Club achievements: Fourth all-time in games played, games started and minutes played in goal. Fourth in wins. Leads Rapids goalkeepers with 349 saves made for the club and is third in shutouts. Made the playoffs all four years with the club. Tied for the least goals allowed in club history in 2004. Second in goals against average with 1.16.

Other achievements: Earned two appearances for the USMNT and played 14 years in MLS. Two time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

 

Marcus Hahnemann

Years with the Rapids: 1997-1999

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 66/65

Club achievements: Second in Rapids wins all-time among 'keepers with 39 in only 66 matches. Third in saves made. Helped lead the team to three consecutive playoff appearances, including the MLS Cup final in 1997. Sixth in goals against average with 1.59.

Other achievements: Purchased by European club Fulham in 1999, went on to play for English clubs Reading and Wolverhampton, playing in England for 13 years. Earned nine caps for the USMNT.

 

Tim Howard

Years with the Rapids: 2016-2019

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 100/100

Club achievements: Designated Player who is third in games played in goal, second in games started and third in minutes played. Second in total saves and fourth in shutouts. Helped lead the team to 2016 playoffs. Seventh in goals against average with 1.62.

Other achievements: Universally known as the best goalkeeper in US Soccer history. Has 121 first team caps for the USMNT and holds the record for the most saves in a single FIFA World Cup match with 15 in a 2014 match against Belgium. Played 14 years in the English Premier League with Manchester United and Everton.

 

Matt Pickens

Years with the Rapids: 2009-2013

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 116/116

Club achievements: Leads the club's goalkeepers in games played all-time, games started and minutes played in goal. First in wins. Leads the club in shutouts and fourth in saves. Helped lead the club to its 2010 MLS Cup title. Also made the postseason in 2012 and 2013. Third in goals against average with 1.27.

Other achievements: Played eight total seasons in MLS. Current goalkeeper coach for Nashville S.C.

 

Defenders

Marcelo Balboa

Years with the Rapids: 1996-2001

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 151/146

Club achievements: Fourth all-time in games started, played and minutes played. Eighth in goals scored and seventh in assists, and the only defender to make the top 10 of either list. Scored the first goal in club history. In 2001, became the first MLS defender to have over 20 goals and 20 assists. Scored the MLS Goal of the Year in 2000. Anchored the defense of the team that went to the playoffs in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. One of the first Rapids Gallery of Honor inductees and in the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Other achievements: Balboa earned 128 caps with US Soccer and was the first player to earn over 100 caps with the team in 1995. Played in three FIFA World Cups in 1990, 1994 and 1998. In 2005, Balboa was named to the MLS all-time best XI and elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was named to the US Soccer All-Time Best XI. 

 

Nat Borchers

Years with the Rapids: 2003-2005

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 83/82

Club achievements: Born and raised in Colorado, Borchers went undrafted in 2003 but quickly earned himself a starting spot on the squad. Helped lead the team to back-to-back playoff appearances in '03 and '04. 

Other achievements: Played 12 total season in MLS, earning him a spot at eighth in all-time minutes played. Earned two MLS Cup titles and made the playoffs in 11 out of those 12 seasons.

 

Robin Fraser

Years with the Rapids: 2001-2003

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 54/53

Club achievements: Helped lead the Rapids to the postseason in 2002 and 2003. Current Rapids head coach. Also played for the Colorado Foxes from 1990-1995 (pre-MLS), making 93 appearances.

Other achievements: Drafted by the Galaxy the inaugural MLS season. Played ten professional seasons, making eight trips to the post season. Named MLS Defender of the Year in 1999. Earned 27 caps with the USMNT. Second African American head coach in league history.

 

Kosuke Kimura

Years with the Rapids: 2007-2012

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 117/109

Club achievements: Drafted by the Rapids in 2007. In 2010, helped lead the Rapids to the team's MLS Cup title and also named Rapids Humanitarian of the Year. Scored the team's lone goal in a 1-0 win against San Jose in the Eastern Conference Final on the way to the title. Also made the playoffs in 2011.

Other achievements: First Japanese-Born player to debut in MLS. Played eight total seasons in the league.

 

Ritchie Kotschau​

Years with the Rapids: 2001-2005

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 116/103

Club achievements: Part of the defense that allowed only 32 goals in 2004, tied for the least in club history. Helped the team to the playoffs for four consecutive years, 2002-2005.

Other achievements: Played 12 total seasons in MLS, going to the post season seven times.

 

Drew Moor

Years with the Rapids: 2009-2015 & 2020

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 183/183

Club achievements: The only current member of the Rapids nominated. Second in all-time games started, games played and minutes played. Appeared in the 2015 All-Star Game. Helped lead the Rapids to the 2010 MLS Cup title, also appeared in 2011 & 2013 playoffs.

Other achievements: Over 17 seasons in MLS, Moor has made the playoffs nine times, including four MLS Cup appearances and two titles. Served a critical role in Toronto FC's treble victory in 2017 (MLS Cup, most league points and Canadian Championship). Has earned five caps with the USMNT. Fifth in MLS minutes played all-time.

 

Steve Trittschuh​

Years with the Rapids: 1996-1999

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 91/91

Club achievements: Helped lead the Rapids to the 1997 MLS Cup final and to another playoff appearance in 1998. Hired to the Rapids coaching staff in 2003 and served as the Colorado Springs Switchbacks head coach from 2013-2019.

Other achievements: Competed for the U.S. at the Seoul Olympic Games and the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Earned 37 total caps.

 

Peter Vermes

Years with the Rapids: 1997-1999

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 89/88

Club achievements: A member of the first Rapids team in 1996 and centerback for three consecutive playoff appearances, including in the 1997 MLS Cup Final.

Other achievements: Earned 66 caps for the USMNT, including appearances in the 1998 Olympics, which earned him U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year and U.S. Olympic player of the year. 2000 MLS Player of the Year. Current manager and sporting director for Sporting Kansas City. Longest tenured coach in MLS and the fifth-winningest coach in club history.

 

Marvell Wynne​

Years with the Rapids: 2010-2014

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 113/110

Club achievements: A regular on the Rapids 2010 championship side. Also helped lead the team to the 2011 & 2013 playoffs. Fifth in Rapids games started and minutes played.

Other achievements: After being the first overall selection in the 2006 SuperDraft, Wynne lived up to the hype. He proceeded to play in the league for 13 seasons, playing over 2,000 minutes in nine. Earned five appearances for the USMNT.

 

Midfielders

Kyle Beckerman

Years with the Rapids: 2002-2007

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 145/123

Club achievements: Sixth in Rapids matches played, started and minutes played. Part of the team that went to five consecutive playoffs, the longest run in club history.

Other achievements: Current player for Real Salt Lake. First all-time in games started, played and minutes played in MLS history over the course of 21 seasons. Has made it to the postseason sixteen times. Has 58 caps for the USMNT, including appearances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

 

Mark Chung

Years with the Rapids: 2002-2005

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 84/82

Club achievements: Helped lead the Rapids to the playoffs in 2002, 2003 and 2004, leaving the club after six games in 2005. Finalist for the league MVP award in 2002. Seventh in club goals all-time and ninth in assists. Tied for the most goals on the team in 2002 and second in 2003, with 10 both seasons.

Other achievements: Earned 24 caps with the MNT. Played in MLS for 11 seasons, with eight trips to the postseason. Played over 2,000 minutes in eight different seasons.

 

Terry Cooke

Years with the Rapids: 2005-2009

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 106/90

Club achievements: Played five seasons of MLS, all with the Rapids. Helped lead the team to the post season in 2005 and 2006. Netted 34 assists over his tenure, second for the club all-time, and captained the squad in 2008. Led the MLS in assists in 2006 with 12.

Other achievements: Played primarily for European clubs, including long stints at Manchester United and Manchester City. 

 

Chris Henderson

Years with the Rapids: 1996-1998 & 2002-2005

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 178/170

Club achievements: Henderson is third all-time in games started, played and minutes played. He is first in assists, third in goals scored and 10th in game-winning goals. He leads the club in game-winning assists. Helped lead the Rapids to the playoffs in five different seasons. Named Team MVP in 1996. He is also in the Rapids Gallery of Honor. 

Other achievements: Henderson earned 79 caps with the USMNT. He was on the team for the 1990 Olympic Games and 1992 FIFA World Cup. Played 12 total MLS seasons, going to the playoffs in eight seasons and surpassing 2,000 minutes nine times. Currently the Vice President of Soccer/Sporting Director for Seattle Sounders FC. 

 

Jeff Larentowicz​

Years with the Rapids: 2010-2012

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 96/95

Club achievements: Scored fourteen goals in the regular season over three years with the Rapids. Led the team in scoring in 2011 with seven goals. Helped lead the Rapids to the team's 2010 MLS Cup title.

Other achievements: Current player for Atlanta United. Second in MLS all-time games played and third in minutes played and games started. Two-time MLS Cup champion. Earned four caps with the USMNT.

 

Anders Limpar

Years with the Rapids: 1999-2000

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 36/28

Club achievements: Scored three goals and added 15 assists in two seasons with Colorado. Led the club in assists in 2000. The club made the playoffs in both of his two seasons.

Other achievements: Spent the majority of his career in the English Premier League, playing for Arsenal and Everton for seven total years. Earned a FA Cup title with Everton and a league title with Arsenal. Also spent time in the top Swedish league. Earned 58 caps with the Swedish national team, playing in the two FIFA World Cups, including 1994, when the country finished third. 

 

Pablo Mastroeni​

Years with the Rapids: 2002-2013

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 225/217

Club achievements: The only player in Rapids history to play more than 200 games for the club. Leads the club in all-time minutes played, games played and games started. Made the MLS All-Star team for seven consecutive years from 2002-2008. Named team MVP three times, including in 2010, when the Rapids won MLS Cup. Captained the Rapids from 2004-2013. Helped lead the Rapids to the playoffs over seven different seasons. Member of the Rapids Gallery of Honor. Also served as head coach of the team from 2014-2017, leading the club to its best regular season by points per game in 2016.

Other achievements: Earned 65 caps with the USMNT, including appearances in both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup. Also served as team captain for a friendly in 2007. Played 17 seasons in MLS. Current assistant coach for the Houston Dynamo.

 

Ross Paule

Years with the Rapids: 1997-2001

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 111/78

Club achievements: Drafted in the first round in 1997. Second in the club's game-winning assists all time and third in assists. Went to four consecutive postseasons with the club from 1997 to 2000..

Other achievements: Made the playoffs in six out of eight MLS seasons. Notched 31 career goals and 41 assists. Current head coach at Creighton University, where he played in college. 

 

Adrian Paz

Years with the Rapids: 1997-1998

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 53/52

Club achievements: Paz is sixth in Rapids assists all-time with 24 in 53 matches. Helped the team to the playoffs in both seasons with the club.

Other achievements: Earned 10 caps for Uruguay's national team. Became the first player from Uruguay to play in the Premier League in 1994. Added 34 assists in only three MLS seasons.

 

Carlos Valderrama​

Years with the Rapids: 2001-2002

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 39/39

Club achievements: Helped lead the Rapids to the postseason in 2002, contributing a team-leading 16 assists. Fifth all-time for the club in game-winning assists and 10th in assists overall.

Other achievements: Named the league's first MVP in 1996. Fourth all-time in MLS assists, with nearly half of the number of games played of the top three. Has the record for the most assists in a single season with 26. In 2005, named to the MLS All-Time Best XI. Earned 111 caps for the Colombian national team and remains the most capped player in the country's history. Appeared in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 FIFA World cup.

 

Forwards

Paul Bravo

Years with the Rapids: 1997-2001

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 135/119

Club achievements: Second in goals scored for the club and first in game-winning goals and multi-goal games. One of the first two Rapids Gallery of Honor inductees. Helped lead the Rapids to the playoffs in 1997-2000, including a finals appearance in '97, the year in which Bravo led the team in scoring. Three-time MLS all-star. Served as technical director for the club from 2009-2016.

Other achievements: Earned four caps with the USMNT.

 

Conor Casey

Years with the Rapids: 2007-2012

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 135/119

Club achievements: Leads the Rapids all-time in goals, third in game-winning goals and second in multi-goal games. MVP of the 2010 MLS Cup Final. Led the team in scoring in 2008 and 2009, second in 2010. Went to the playoffs twice with Colorado. Served as club assistant coach from 2017-2019 and interim head coach in 2019.  

Other achievements: Began his career in the Bundesliga with Broussia Dortmund. Earned 19 caps for the USMNT, including the 2000 Olympic Games. Played 11 seasons in MLS.

 

Omar Cummings

Years with the Rapids: 2007-2012

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 148/114

Club achievements: Fifth in games played for the club, third in goals and fourth in assists, all time. Second in total points with 39 goals and 27 assists. Named Rapids MVP in 2009. Led the club in scoring during the team's 2010 MLS Cup run with 14 goals. Made the playoffs in two seasons with the Rapids.

Other achievements: Earned 35 caps for Jamaica. Played eight total seasons in MLS.

 

Kevin Doyle

Years with the Rapids: 2015-2017

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 71/63

Club achievements: Designated Player who scored 16 goals and added eight assists in three seasons, helping the Rapids to the 2016 playoffs.

Other achievements: Prior to MLS, spent time in the Championship and Premier League in England, including seven seasons with Wolverhampton. Earned 64 caps for the Republic of Ireland national team and named Player of the Year in 2009.

 

Shkëlzen Gashi​

Years with the Rapids: 2016-2018

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 64/46

Club achievements: Rapids Designated Player who led the team in scoring in 2016, helping the squad to the playoffs. Won MLS goal of the year in 2016. Netted 13 goals and seven assists over two seasons.

Other achievements: Played several years in the top Swiss league prior to joining MLS. Earned the Golden Boot in that league in two consecutive seasons. Earned 17 caps for the Albanian national team.

 

Wolde Harris

Years with the Rapids: 1997-1999 & 2005

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 93/54

Club achievements: Made the playoffs in all four seasons with the Rapids. Led the club in scoring in 1998, when the team netted the most goals in a single season in franchise history. Sixth in goals and game-winning goals scored for the club and fourth in multi-goal games.

Other achievements: Played in MLS for nine seasons, making the postseason in seven. Scored 51 total goals and added 31 assists overall in regular season play. Played 26 games with the Jamaican national team.

 

John Spencer

Years with the Rapids: 2001-2004

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 88/79

Club achievements: Fourth all-time in club goals and second in game-winning goals. Former Rapids captain. Two-time MLS All Star and a finalist for MLS MVP in 2003. Led the team in scoring in 2001 and 2003. Rapids Gallery of Honor inductee. Helped the Rapids to the playoffs in 2002 and 2003.

Other achievements: Spent time in the top Scottish league and in the English Premier League, playing for Chelsea for six seasons. Earned 14 caps with the Scottish national team.

 

Jorge Dely Valdés

Years with the Rapids: 1999-2000

Matches/Starts with Rapids: 52/40

Club achievements: Became the first Panamanian to join MLS when he came to Colorado. Scored 17 goals in two seasons with the Rapids, eight of which were game-winners, the fifth most in club history. Led the team in scoring in 1999. Helped the Rapids to the playoffs in both of his seasons.

Other achievements: Spent the majority of his career in the top league in Japan. Earned 48 caps for Panama's national team. He currently coaches Panama's U-20 team.


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