The Daily Wave: The Return to Greatness or The Fall From Glory

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Seated upon a wedge, the identity of this young team is still discovering itself, what path will it find itself set upon?

I imagine sitting atop a high wedge that faces skyward that runs along the ground as far as the eye can see. There are only two ways down, and once down, it would be a long while before being able to reach the other side if I were to choose incorrectly. So, I must make my decision carefully. From this vantage point, I can see all possibilities on both sides of the wedge. On one side of the wedge, should I choose it, could be complete and utter failure where shame and regret engulf those that roam there. The other side is full of glorious success wrought with joy, parades, and feasts. Though, unfortunately, I cannot remember which side is which since it seems so long that I've tasted either. I touched my feet on the side of success once not too long ago, but it seems like I've been riding mediocrity for so long.

The Rapids have changed everything about themselves in one measly off-season. After a season of disappointment and struggles, Colorado's system not just evolved, but was rebooted all together, selling itself into the midst of young players from different parts of the world. Not willing to buy the big star, the Rapids have chased down the young players for a better price, hoping that they turn into something great. And now, the Rapids' identity hangs in the balance of this one season. Yes, I said one season. Many writers, analysts, and even fans graciously grant the mile high soccer team two, or even three years to get their feet on the ground and running, but I don't see it that way.

Taking a chance on many unproven players in hopes to recreate the rarity of hidden skill of Martin Rivero, the Rapids have set their fate, whatever path that may be. I believe that this one, single season will show us which side of the wedge we've chosen. Don't misinterpret me, if the 2013 Rapids miss the playoffs, I will not necessarily consider it to be unsuccessful. I understand that evolution needs time to bind itself, but for that to happen we need to catch glimpses of improvement and greatness through this brand new team, otherwise we will fall from glory, which the Rapids have been threatening to do the last few seasons. I say greatness because I mean greatness. Not good plays, not individual greatness, but team greatness.

So far, there have been a few scenes of skill, but mainly from individual players like Deshorn Brown. Let's be honest with ourselves and admit this is not a well rounded team. Holes and gaps of imperfection plague several parts of the team. Until the last match, the defense had been reminiscent of the 2012 back line allowing themselves to be punished by counter strikes. The lack of marking has cost them goals and wins. And with Drew Moor standing on the edge of bench or starter, lack of consistency again looms in the backfield. The everlasting inability to finish on the attacking side continually haunts the Colorado Rapids. It has been long enough to know that the absence of finishing is not just bad luck, but just deficit of skill. The new players have shown the ability to attack, and attack a lot which is something we haven't seen in a long while, but with 4 goals in 6 matches, they're missing something. I will say: shooting from outside the 18' is stronger than it has been before. Step one to scoring is shooting.

So, the pieces have been set in motion. Now let's see where they go.

This team and its fans have endured something that is rarely seen. And that is an immense amount of change in one off-season. The Rapids won't be able to do that again for some time, so they've made their bed and have to lie in it, for the best or the worst. How I see it? The front office is going for a long term success plan, and this is the season that will tell us whether they will make it, or break it. I am always fearful of mass amounts of change because it is often accompanied by shock and confusion. I hope this not to be the case. Watch for glimpses of greatness through this team's evolution and it will tell you what could or could not be in the very near future.

We will either rise again, or fall. There is no longer any room for mediocrity.

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