And for this one, our picture is the Patron Saint of Draws. - Richard Heathcote
Saying the Rapids need more draws next year seems obvious, right? Well, it probably should have seemed obvious last year, as well...
OK, so this one seems obvious, right? After a year where the Rapids drew a league-worst four games, the team is going to need to scrape a point out of quite a few more games this year. Well, you would think it would have seemed obvious last year as well, but there we were, sitting on four draws all season long.
That pretty much fell entirely on the shoulders of manager Oscar Pareja.
Pareja came in looking to play not only some attacking soccer, but playing to win at all costs. Whether the team was up by two goals or down by one, they were going to keep on the full-on offensive and keep trying to destroy the opposition at all costs! Unfortunately, that left the team very open to counter attacks and they lost quite a few leads that they had built throughout the year because they just wouldn't sit back on a lead.
Now, this team doesn't need to turn into Gary Smith's Rapids, where a 1-0 lead turned the team automatically into Turtle mode, leading to the longest draw streak in team history and a combined 33 draws during the three years Smith was in charge. However, Pareja's 'WIN ALWAYS' mentality needed to take a hike -- to give you some idea of how much difference a few draws would have made, nine draws instead of four would have given the Rapids a playoff spot, and it would have taken even fewer had they been able to turn those frustrating 1-0 losses to Vancouver into draws instead.
Fortunately, from what we've heard, Oscar has learned his lesson on that and we can probably expect to see fewer 2-1 losses after 1-0 leads. That mentality alone should improve both the point total and the form of this team going into 2013.