Three Colorado Rapids players to watch for in the 2021 MLS season.
The up-and-coming talent on the Colorado Rapids roster should be on full display in 2021. With some of the best U23 players in the United States on their team sheet, the coming season will offer another opportunity for them to shine. Along with their talented young players, they also have veteran playmakers who can make a difference. Here are three Rapids players to watch for in the 2021 Major League Soccer season.
Vines has emerged as one of the best U23 left-backs in MLS. The 21-year-old has been improving every year he’s played in the league and was recently rewarded for his performances by being selected to the U.S. U23 Olympic qualifying team. After being named to the MLS’ Top 22 Under 22 list last season, he will certainly be on the radar of European clubs. This has the potential to be his final campaign in the MLS if he has another strong showing at left-back in 2021. There are bound to be multiple European clubs that are willing to sign an up-and-coming talent such as Vines. His continued progress into becoming one of the USMNT’s top prospects at left-back will be something to watch for.
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It was a breakout season for Bassett in 2020. The 19-year-old recorded five goals and five assists in 14 appearances. This impressive goalscoring involvement saw him rank fourth in MLS when it came to non-penalty goals and assists per 90 minutes played. Much like the aforementioned Vines, Bassett will likely be scouted by multiple European clubs in the 2021 season. He is one of the best U20 players in the league and was named to the Top 22 Under 22 list.
If Bassett can continue to produce assists and goals in the 2021 campaign it will certainly benefit the Rapids and help get them back to the playoffs. It was a much-improved campaign from the club as a whole in 2020 compared to recent seasons and having their Homegrown players like Bassett perform at a high level has been a key part of the resurgence.
The Rapids attacking midfielder registered two goals and four assists in his first season in MLS. After joining the Western Conference club as a Designated Player, he’s become the club’s top playmaker. According to Football Reference, he led the Rapids in both goal and shot-creating actions during the 2020 campaign. In 2021, he should be a key player once more for the Rapids on the attack. Paired with attacking talents such as Jonathan Lewis and Bassett should allow Namli to orchestrate more goal-scoring chances in the coming season. Namli has what it takes to be one of the top playmakers in the west and the 2021 campaign could yield even better numbers from the 26-year-old.