LAUDERHILL, Fla. — The Colorado Rapids are looking at the international market for players. Of that there is no secret.
Who they will pick up is more of an unknown.
The Rapids have been busy over the last week preparing for selecting second in this Thursday’s MLS Draft, but the club is also looking to add more than a top collegiate prospect to its roster in the coming days. In fact, the Rapids are potentially on the verge of adding a couple of veterans that can bolster an offense that finished dead last in scoring in 2015.
“There’s one or two players that we’re still looking to bring in that have a good resume internationally that we’re really looking to help solidify that attacking core,” Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni told SBI. “I think that’s the area where I feel like we need to make the biggest gains, and we want to make sure we get off to a real fast start. If that’s the case, then we don’t have time for a lot of adjustment to transition from college to pros.
“We’re looking to bring in some really impactful players from abroad that have a resume that we feel fit the culture, fit the style of play, and that can contribute right away.”
There have been reports and whispers in recent days and weeks about the Rapids having interest in Mexican duo Carlos Vela and Alan Pulido. Vela and Pulido are both currently under contract with clubs in Europe, but each of them fits the mold of players with good international careers.
Vela, a 26-year-old winger, and Pulido, a 24-year-old forward, have represented El Tri at the international level and made separate World Cup rosters. Their combination of experience, technical skills, and scoring prowess would serve as a big boost for the Rapids, especially considering that the club finished in the cellar of the competitive Western Conference after mustering up a paltry 33 goals.
The two Mexicans would seem like ideal offseason acquisitions for the Rapids ahead of the 2016 campaign, but whether there is actually interest is not something the club is commenting on.
“I don’t want to speculate on players that we don’t currently have,” said Mastroeni. “Until the player is a part of our group I (don’t) feel more comfortable speaking about it. It’s not our player and I don’t feel it’s right to be speaking about players that you don’t currently have.”
“Him along with thousands of other players that have had success at the international level (fit the mold),” added Mastroeni when asked specifically about Vela. “I don’t think it’s him in particular. I think there’s a wealth of players, players of that caliber that have that type of resume, goal-scoring history, guys that can be very impactful for us there.”