April 1, 2012; Commerce City, CO, USA; Chicago Fire midfielder Sebastian Grazzini (left) collides with Colorado Rapids defender Marvell Wynne at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Carpenean-US PRESSWIRE
That 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire by the Colorado Rapids was wonderful. It showed that the Rapids don't need Pablo Mastroeni to be successful in the league, with Martin Rivero performing admirably in his first appearance. The offense looked great, the defense looked great and even Matt Pickens had his moments, though they were few. Did it impress the people around the internet who write the power rankings? Not as much as we probably would have liked. Of course, the Fire aren't exactly world beaters.
ESPN pushed the Rapids up to eighth after having them quite low at 10th last week.
MLSsoccer.com didn't bother to mention Martin Rivero in their mini recap, preferring instead to say Jeff Larentowicz was the only reason that they lost 4-1 in NY but were able to beat Chicago. They did move the Rapids up two spots to ninth, but they also kept the Galaxy - you know, the team that's 1-2 and just lost to New England at home? - in sixth so take it with a grain of salt. Gotta keep the pre-written storylines going regardless of actual results, right MLS?
Yeah, Jeff Larentowicz is that important. The most crucial spot on the field in a 4-3-3 is that "back point" in the midfield, and Larentowicz plays it as well as anyone in the league. That's the difference between a 4-1 loss at NY and a 2-0 win over Chicago.
SB Nation has the Rapids at the highest position this week, sixth after putting them seventh the past few weeks.
Oscar Pareja has the Rapids off to a 3-1-0 start. They win this week against RSL and they'll shoot up the charts.
Sports Illustrated kept the Rapids at seventh, the same spot they had Colorado in last week. They were impressed by Martin Rivero but worried about the Pablo Mastroeni news with so many crucial games coming out.
The good: midfielder Martin Rivero's debut showcased the latest player with an attacking flair in Oscar Pareja's arsenal, and Marvell Wynne's speed completely neutralized that of Chicago's Dominic Oduro. The bad: Pablo Mastroeni's head injury might be more debilitating than originally thought, and a Rocky Mountain Cup clash at Rio Tinto Stadium awaits this weekend.
Remember that this week features a game against rivals Real Salt Lake, so a victory this weekend - or even just a result in general - will almost assuredly give the power rankings guys something to think about.