It's finally out! The schedule is finally out!
After waiting for what seemed like months... oh, wait, it was months, Colorado Rapids fans and all other fans in the league can finally plan trips, games and whatnot for themselves. My first impressions and thoughts on the schedule are below.
* The Real Salt Lake games have been tweaked a bit from last year. We're not going to have to wait until late in the season to see our rivals for the first time, with a match as early as April 9th. Also for the first time in several years, our season finale won't be against RSL, although the home side of the derby will take place the game before last.
* The Rapids both start the season and end the season against expansion opponents, taking on the Portland Timbers in the home opener and the Vancouver Whitecaps in the final game of the season on the road.
* July will be a tedious month with a whopping seven games, but the scheduler was slightly kind to Colorado as most of the gauntlet of games are against teams who are either expansion or weren't playoff threats last season. Four out of the seven are home games as well, including the game against the still vicious New York Red Bulls. For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Rapids will not host a 4th of July game. Most likely, the Rapids will still have Fireworks on their July 3rd game against the Houston Dynamo.
* Strangely, they couldn't find anywhere to fit games in September or October. Only three games in both of the final months of the season. I suppose at least the Rapids will be well rested going into the playoffs?
* Garber and the schedulers pretty much screwed the pooch on any travel plans the Rapids supporters groups may have had. The derby to Real Salt Lake is not only happening right at the start of the season, but it's taking place on a Wednesday. I hope our employers and teachers understand why we're canceling two or three days worth of work and classes. The chance to go to Kansas City is also on a Wednesday, a Wednesday sandwiched in between two home games within three days of each other no less! That's just not nice. As Pid Army pointed out, notice how they were kind enough to let all the Cascadia Cup matches be on weekends? I guess they've already forgotten what the best rivalry in their league is.