The Rapids have started their long journey toward the starting XI that they planned for the opening game. Last Saturday Martin Rivero and Pablo Mastroeni both saw action in a Reserve match, both playing 20 minutes. Pablo is looking to be ready to play on Saturday versus the Houston Dynamo. We can debate the merits of both players from now to the end of time, but right now both are sorely needed for the Rapids (for very different reasons).
Rivero was the Rookie of the year for the Rapids last year and lead the team in assists. This is where the Rapids have missed Rivero so much. The Rapids have yet to find a player capable of filling the role that Rivero had last year. Rivero's vision and ability to create chances has been completely absent so far this year. Rivero coming back will hopefully lead to more goals due largely in part to his vision and ball handling skills.
While last week I said it was time for Pablo to step away, it is impossible to discount the presence that he does have on the field. Pablo has been the captain of this team for years largely due to the impact that he has had on the Rapids. Right now the Rapids have missed his voice on the field, and that has shown in the inability to stop counter attacks. Pablo will be back hopefully this week.
While Pablo will be back this week hopefully, Rivero is still a couple of weeks away from returning to first team action. These are the first of two injured players to return for the Rapdis. This road will be long and very trying to Rapids fans, but I guess that is why they say patience is a virtue.