Colorado Rapids Vice President of Soccer Operations and technical director Paul Bravo has revealed to the Denver Post that the club still hope to bring in one or two Arsenal players on loan for the 2015 season.
Both owned by Stan Kroenke, the two sides formed a “strategic partnership” in 2007, resulting in former Gunners scout Gary Smith joining the Rapids in 2008 as an assistant, before eventually taking up the head coaching role.
Smith lead the team to their first-ever MLS Cup title in 2010 before departing the following season, but there has since been little sign of communication from across the pond, aside from midfielder Samuel Galindo arriving on an unsuccessful trial last winter.
However, Bravo and club president Tim Hinchey both travelled to England in October to meet with Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis and, after some positive discussions on how they can improve their relationship, are now optimistic about the chance of a couple of the Premier League club’s prospects arriving in the States in the near future.
“We’ve been talking with Arsenal quite a bit,” said Bravo. “There are a few players that we’ve been monitoring.
“One that’s currently in an injury situation that we were hoping to bring over. There’s another one that we’re considering at this point, but nothing concrete. But we have been in communication with them in hopes that we can maybe secure one or two players.
“The reality is it’s not just about our relationship, it’s about what those players want to do at the end of the day as well,” he continued.
“We can talk about players all we want, but at the end of the day once you get down to it, being able to sell them on the project that we have here, the connection, a lot of times those players they prefer to be there.”
The Rapids endured a miserable 2014 in head coach Pablo Mastroeni’s first season in charge, going winless in their last 14 games to finish eighth in the Western Conference – their worst-ever campaign.
Bringing in some additional help from the Gunners would no doubt improve their chances of a bounce back campaign, along with the potential arrival of Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Kevin Doyle, who is considering an offer from the MLS club.