5 Key Players to Colorado Rapids’ 2014 MLS Season

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5 Key Players to Colorado Rapids' 2014 MLS Season

Colorado Rapids MLS 2014
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids finished the 2013 MLS season by surprisingly securing a No. 5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, after being written off as too young to have success by many at the beginning of last season. They fell out of the playoffs in the opening knockout round against the Seattle Sounders, but the experience of just making it to the playoffs will be a huge boost moving forward for Colorado.

Colorado is one of the youngest teams in MLS, and although lacking the big-name talent of a lot of other teams in the Western Conference, they are a team that plays like they want to win on a consistent basis. Sometimes, being a young, competitive team can lead to a more successful season than having one or two players that were at one point considered world class like the rest of MLS seems to be doing.

In 2014, the Rapids should once again make a push for the MLS Playoffs. They're a good team that has only become better since their No. 5 seed appearance last season. With that being said, the general consensus is that Colorado will have a good season, but will miss out on the 2014 MLS playoffs. Don’t be surprised if they surpass that expectation, because the only way to go for this team is up.

Here are five players that are the most important to the Rapids’ success in 2014. Feel free to comment in the section below with the name of a Colorado player if you think that someone else should have made this list.

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Chris Klute

Chris Klute - MLS
Isaiah Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Klute’s ability to get forward at times is going to be essential to Colorado’s attack, and his ability to cut out passes is going to be essential to Colorado’s defense.

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4. Nathan Sturgis

Nathan Sturgis MLS
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The other fullback with Klute, Sturgis is going to have a lot of work to do as he becomes the player who will have to stop a few world class players one-on-one.

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3. Jose Mari

Jose Mari MLS
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

He’s not on the team officially yet, but the Rapids need a defensive mid. Mari fits that mold perfectly. If Mari has a good season, expect Colorado to have a lot of success.

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2. Dillon Powers

Dillon Powers MLS
Isaiah Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Definitely the brightest player on the Rapids’ roster, Powers makes this team tick. His vision and accuracy are second to none on the team.

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1. Edson Buddle

Edson Buddle MLS
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Buddle could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The way this midfield plays needs a successful center forward or they won’t be able to play their fast style of soccer. If Buddle doesn’t have success, Colorado might fail.

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