By Kevin Koczwara
Aston Villa fans haven’t had much to cheer for this season. Former boss Martin O’Neil resigned a few weeks before the season started. James Milner sold his soul to the devil, Manchester City, after being the team’s brightest spark last year. Injuries have rampaged through the squad and tested a young and inexperienced bench from the start. Now, Villa sits just two points from the drop zone and a desperate need to turn things around.
With a desperate need for goals, Villa boss Gerard Houllier may look to Major League Soccer for a short-term answer if transfer funds are tight this January. It is believed that Houllier is interested in signing a short-term loan deal for Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings if the two teams can agree on a deal. Houllier will look for Cummings to bring some pace into his slogging squad that has been hampered by injuries to players like Ashley Young.
Cummings helped lead Colorado to its first ever MLS Cup this past season with his dynamic play on the counter and his ability to work off and with his partner Conor Casey. It was a perfect match as Casey brought the hammer and power while Cummings gave the Rapids a breakout player with great pace, field awareness and great one on one skills. Cummings scored 14 goals last season for the Rapids and added seven assists while causing havoc in the opposition defense. Houllier could use a player like that right about now.
The move for Cummings would be a great chance to show his stuff overseas. At 28-years-old, the Jamaican international isn’t getting any younger and his time to make a switch is running out. He needs to prove himself right now. There wouldn’t be a better chance than a short-term loan spell. Villa needs players to step up and keep the club out of the dreaded relegation zone. With all of the grumblings going on, bringing a player like Cummings looking to establish a reputation rather than collect another large check, could give Villa some life and keep the club from fading into the Championship.
Cummings will be back for the Rapids opener though. The team’s coach, Gary Smith, has established that. Smith needs the player to return to the fold again next season as Colorado looks to try and hold on to its crown as kings of the MLS.
Smith told MLSsoccer.com, “Aston Villa will take a little look and we’ll then see if that turns into a loan period. My involvement will be if he’s on trial and it turns into something more substantial. Then, he must be back for that first game.”
The Rapids open its season on March 19 at home against expansion side the Portland Timbers. Rapids fans will be weary if Cummings does seal a short-term loan move because they don’t want to see him injured while playing in England and unavailable for any part of the MLS season.
Kevin Koczwara can be reached at Kevin.Koczwara@thesoccerguysonline.com.