Way back after a snowy-day pre-season training session at the Bubble, Oscar described Dillon Powers’ “personality.” Throughout the season our coach used this term for other players, but for Powers he said it with sheer astonishment. We later learned that the University of Notre Dame administration had all the credits they needed from Mr. Powers, who planned to be at somebody’s MLS camp right after Christmas. This kid thought this through, and he didn’t stop. He rode out the Rookie Roller coaster with class, never failing his team while the inevitable dip hit. Instead, he continued to rise and looked ready to peak for the playoffs. Seattle’s Zach Smack Scott’s tete-a-tete showed Rapids fans a Chicxulub crater-sized hole in our midfield in the feckless San Jose loss. The defense was affected too, and we never regained our attack without Powers. The hole Pablo shared with Dillon early on opened up again when Dillon’s concussion forced him to the sidelines. He still did his part at training, aping to put his Crazy Cap protective gear on teammates while Oscar gathered the group for a talk. Powers brought everything with him to Colorado (ability, cleverness, camaraderie, competitiveness, competence, consistency, and joy for the game).

So, “personality” is the difference between two characters at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Your cousin’s new boyfriend seems really cool with her and hasn’t been an idiot yet. But he’s on an outer ring of the scene, pulling your cousin aside to ask about the status of two twin uncle-aunt pairs that divorced and re-married crosswise. He doesn’t quite get it, but he tries.

“Personality” is the term for the long-term guy who makes a special trip and you need to set triple or quadruple the number of plates on extra tables. This guy never says he’s a leader or acts like he’s better than anyone. He listens and he does and says things with sincerity. Everyone likes to be around him and share the quality.

Powers can shoot, defend, send in a free kick, turn the ball without turning it over, alter tempo and direction, and execute all the other technical tasks required in an MLS game. But the guy is the Most Valuable Player for the Colorado Rapids because he connects all 11 guys with Oscar’s treasured gift: “Personality.”

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