CHESTER, PA- JULY 29: Roger Torres #8 of the Philadelphia Union gets tripped up between Pablo Mastroeni #25 and Brian Mullan #11 of the Colorado Rapids at PPL Park on July 29, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Rapids won 2-1. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Back in 2010 when the Rapids won the MLS Cup, they were an incredible force when they played at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. All season long they only lost two games at home, one to the Supporters Shield winning Los Angeles Galaxy and another to DC United while playing a B-team featuring guys like Scott Palguta, Danny Earls and Wells Thompson in the starting XI. Every point at home came in handy as the Rapids snagged the 7th seed in the playoffs right out of the hands of
the Kansas City Wizards Sporting Kansas City as the season drew to a close.
On the road, that 2010 team was less than impressive for the majority of the year. Though they won their opener 1-0 over Chivas USA and won their final road game in Los Angeles, the in-between moments were at times pretty bad; the 3-1 losses to New York and Columbus standing the highest as it were. The year ended with the Rapids sitting at 4-6-5 on the road.
This year's 4-4-4 road record might not seem incredibly impressive upon first glance, but the Rapids will almost certainly eclipse their road wins from last season - with games against Vancouver and Toronto still to go, especially - and those points have included some quite impressive victories like handing Philadelphia their only home loss of the season and defeating a feisty Houston squad while missing both of their best strikers.
Since it's incredibly unlikely that the Rapids will repeat their 8-2-5 record of success at home that they boasted last season - they've already tied the loss columns, have six draws and would need to sweep the rest of the home season to reach more than eight wins - having an even halfway decent road record is proving key to the Rapids chances at making the playoffs and perhaps making another run as they did last year.
It's also helping them pile up the points before the CCL section of the season really begins to take hold, but that's a story for another day.