June is going to be a pretty boring month for Colorado Rapids fans, and fans of Major League Soccer in general who enjoy club more than country. The US Men's National Team is playing and there are a handful of Open Cup matches around -- which have provided more entertainment so far than expected -- but MLS play won't begin until the middle of June. The Rapids in particular are getting a long one, with 21 days between their last game against the Impact and their next game on June 16th against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
June starts off very sporadically with an Open Cup game and then the league games start again, but even then the Rapids only will end up playing four games this month unless they beat Sporting KC in the Open Cup, which will give them a game on June 26th in the Quarterfinals. It's probably a good thing, as this would be the time of year that the Rapids traditionally start their 'summer swoons'.
Let's take a look at the month ahead...
June 5th @ Sporting Kansas City (Open Cup) - Sporting Kansas City and the Rapids have seemed to enjoy drawing every single time the teams meet in recent years, at least when the Rapids are moderately healthy unlike the playoff series from last season. I expect this one to feature a pretty good Rapids squad against a pretty good KC squad, and I also expect it to go to penalty kicks where SKC will triumph. Of course, the Open Cup is likely the only silverware we might see this season so... might as well go for it!
June 16th @ Vancouver Whitecaps - The Rapids have never lost to or drawn the Whitecaps after going 2-0 against them in their inaugural, wooden spoon winning year. They're a lot better this season, but they have had their troubles and should be facing a points-hungry and much healthier than usual Rapids squad. Colorado really should win this one, but on the road you never know with this team.
June 20th vs. San Jose Earthquakes - This Quakes team reminds me of the 2010 Colorado Rapids from September onward a bit. They're scoring at will through their forwards and have a solid defense and goalkeeper keeping them in games. It was a bit of a surprise to see them storm up the league so quickly after missing the playoffs last season, but they're on fire right now. Fortunately, the Rapids are taking them on at DSGP instead of Buck Shaw for their first meeting, but a draw might be in the works between these two clubs if both are at full health.
June 26th ??? (Open Cup) - There will be an Open Cup match for the Rapids against either the Michigan Bucks or the Dayton Dutch Lions on Tuesday, June 26th if they defeat Sporting KC.
June 30th vs. Portland Timbers - Another team that the Rapids have never lost to due to only playing one year in MLS so far, the Rapids dominated the Timbers in their home opener last year. Hopefully the Timbers Army will bring another super showing out to Colorado and hopefully the game won't be quite as much of a slaughter, but a Rapids win against a Timbers team that has been dismal on the road this year is probably in the cards.
Not a bad June, with three very winnable league games. Nine points or at the very least six are almost required going into July from this somewhat easy and restful month if the Rapids want to make a playoff push.