1. Younes Namli shines
Younes Namli has been receiving rave reviews since arriving in Denver this offseason. The front office was high on the Danish midfielder over the last two years and have referenced his playmaking capacity and his ability to beat guys in one vs ones, elements of his game that they consistently witnessed in practice since his arrival.
But on Saturday, Namli was unveiled for the world to see. This was the new, big-money Designated Player, leading his team forwards. And he didn’t disappoint, certainly providing a catalysing, instigating, unpredictable element to the Rapids play hat was absent in 2019.
Although Namli didn’t log a goal or an assist in his MLS debut, his presence was felt all over the field. Drawing defenders in and providing teammates with space to drive into, Namli was central to the Rapids’ attacking play.
For the Rapids, who had one of the worst starts to a season in club history in 2019, taking home the first three points of the 2020 season was much needed. It shows the impact Robin Fraser is having on the club, and also leads to exciting hopes for the year ahead, of which Namli is a major part.