Colorado Rapids Transfers: Depth in, Drama Avoided

Colorado Rapids transfers Steven Beitashour

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids have made two player moves going back to this past weekend. They dealt veteran striker Kei Kamara to Minnesota United FC for $150,000 in 2021 GAM and a 2022 MLS SuperDraft Second Round pick. Then Steven Beitashour was signed as a free agent to a one-year deal with a team option. Let’s take a look at what these Colorado Rapids transfers mean for the club.

Colorado Rapids Transfers: Depth in, Drama Avoided

Kamara has been a fantastic servant to the club. When he came to Colorado last season, several people on Rapids Twitter (this writer included) were concerned about his reputation as a locker room cancer. Whatever happened during an argument over a penalty in 2016, that player isn’t who showed up to Commerce City. He was all about the team, appeared happy on and off the field, and worked really hard.

The 36-year-old wasn’t healthy going into Phase One of the MLS regular season restart. The coaching staff went with Diego Rubio as the center forward. The team’s still transitioning to a 4-3-3 system that relies on a forward who can press, check back to the midfield, and work hard defensively. They’re playing direct football at times but with the ball on the ground. The team hasn’t been the set piece juggernaut of yester year.

Kei’s happiest when he had a good relationship with management, he’s playing regularly, and gets to be ‘the man’ offensively. The organization was ready to move on. He’s not a part of the future nor is his prefered style of play. Less crosses, more running, and less playing time makes Kamara a less than happy player. Fortunately for all parties, they made a move. Any potential for Kamara to be a problem in the locker room has been prevented (though this reporter doesn’t think he would have gone nuclear like in Columbus).

The club got some return for a player who has an experation date. Minnesota filled a position of desperate need. Kamara goes to a team that’s likely making the playoffs (unlike the Rapids who are a bubble team) and will play. The Rapids get to move on with Rubio and Andre Shinyashiki continuing to progress within Fraser’s system.

Now onto Steven Beitashour, a natural right back who can play on the left as well. Fraser has been largely riding iron man Keegan Rosenberry on the right and youngster Sam Vines on the left. Rookie draft pick Jeremy Kelly has made a few appearances as well.

Colorado needed a veteran option that could play on either side of the field and in particular, be a second option to Vines. He knows MLS well as a 10-year veteran. It cost Colorado nothing to sign him as a free agent. He and Fraser were at Toronto FC for two years together. He’s a known quantity. Assuming the salary isn’t ridiculous, he’s a low risk and high reward safety blanket for the fullback position for the business end of the season. The Rapids outside backs have been a bit underwhelming at times this year.

Perhaps Beitashour will bring competition there to help push Rosenberry and Vines.

Overall these were two moves that (pending massive injuries to the forwards) were low risk and helped the team improve incrementally without mortgaging the future.

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