Sharpe still in limbo in Rapids' net

Pool goalkeeper could see time against Chivas USA

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — An MLS pool goalkeeper lives a strange and unique life. He might be called to play at any moment, but he probably won’t know more than a day or so before which team’s jersey he’ll actually be wearing.

Chris Sharpe knows this as well as anyone. Although he trains on a daily basis with the Colorado Rapids, the Australian goalkeeper can be approached by any MLS team if they have injuries or international call-ups for their squad goalkeepers.

The New York Red Bulls, for example, have already come calling a couple of times this season.

But Sharpe has come closest this season to playing with the Rapids, and he’s in another interesting spot with the club now. First-choice goalkeeper Matt Pickens is still suffering from back spasms and other injuries, while backup Ian Joyce is expecting a child imminently. Fellow backup Steward Ceus, meanwhile, is recovering from a broken wrist.

Sharpe, who has had professional spells in Denmark and England, said the current Rapids situation has been in place since the team’s road match in Columbus on Aug. 21. Joyce did not made the trip because of concern his wife may go into labor, while Ceus was still in recovery mode and Pickens looked as if he might have to come off during the game because of injury.

Last weekend at home to Houston, Joyce made his MLS debut because of Pickens’ back spasms. But heading into Saturday’s match against Chivas USA, the goalkeeping situation is anything but clear.

“This weekend is the same,” Sharpe told MLSsoccer.com. “Matt’s not 100 percent, Ian’s wife still hasn’t had the baby. It’s touch and go this weekend.”

The Red Bulls approached Colorado this week to get Sharpe on board for their game this weekend. First-choice goalkeeper, former Rapids regular Bouna Coundoul, has been called up for an international friendly by Senegal.

The Rapids, however, have first right of refusal on Sharpe, and head coach Gary Smith said the club needs him on standby for Saturday’s match against the Goats.

“It’s an interesting situation to be in,” Sharpe said. “I just have to be ready.”