COMMERCE CITY, CO - APRIL 28: Kamani Hill #13 of the Colorado Rapids celebrates his goal against Chivas USA in the 82nd minute with Tony Cascio #32 and Brian Mullan #11 of the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 28, 2012 in Commerce City, Colorado. The Rapids defeated Chivas USA 4-0. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Colorado Rapids are now a quarter of the way through the season and there have been a lot of ups, a lot of downs and a lot of things that have left me scratching my head. The season started out pretty well for the Rapids. With three wins in the first four games the Rapids came storming out of the gates, except for the loss to New York (where the Rapids got their butts handed to them) the Rapids controlled almost everything in their three wins, giving up just one goal in those wins.
After starting out so hot the Rapids came crashing back to earth with three consecutive loses. The first of the three loses was the first leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup. In the three loses the Rapids were never really in them at all, and the offense that we saw in the first few games was non-existent (scoring only a single goal while giving up five).
The only game of the 3 where the Rapids showed any sort of spark was against the Galaxy at home. The first half of that game the Rapids just looked flat and out-matched by the Galaxy. The second half was another story, or more accurately the second half of the second half was another story. The biggest thing that left me scratching my head in this game was how Omar missed the penalty kick during injury time (and why didn’t Jeff take that PK as well).
The spark from the end of the Galaxy game didn’t show up in the Rapids next game until the second half. Oscar Pareja must have lit some fire under his team at the half because the Rapids came out on fire; controlling the entire second half and scoring four goals. This was also the "return" of Conor Casey to the team. Casey got in the game with about a minute left in the game and made an immediate impact; getting a shot on goal in his first 15 seconds of play and also setting up Kamani Hill with his second goal of the game.
Casey didn’t play in the next game as the Rapids traveled to New England where they couldn’t hold onto their early lead, losing the game 2-1. In their last game the Rapids traveled to Dallas. The Rapids took advantage of two Dallas red cards and won the game 2-0. Casey played the entire second half filling in up top for Cummings who went down with a badly sprained ankle.
While the Rapids have shown some spurts of brilliance so far this season, the futility that they have shown in their losses is trouble some. They are still coming together as a team here. The Rapids have four new starters and multiple new players all around. They need to work on their chemistry. We have seen some of it, but not nearly enough. The biggest part of that chemistry has hopefully been going on while the team has had the last week and a half off.