Is it raining cats and dogs? Are Republicans and Democrats getting along? Is gas under $3.00? NO, NO, and NO, but the Colorado Rapids recorded another road victory to bring to 4-4-3 on the year and move up to fourth in the Western Conference. A 2-0 victory over Columbus Crew has continued the good run of form for the Rapids and after all of the injuries, bad luck, bad weather, and a horrific start, the Rapids have put together a record of 4-1-2 in their last seven.
Cue up the Ennio Morricone Music for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Week 11 edition
The Good: Edson Buddle. Having a big body up front is crucial, but his movement on and off the ball have been critical in the mini-goal renaissance that the Rapids have had. It is not to say that the Rapids must have Buddle on the field to score, but it is no coincidence that they have three goals in the last 125 minutes he has been out there.
The Bad: Minor defensive lapses. There were a few points throughout the game that if Columbus could have finished better they would have scored. In fact Columbus should have scored in the first minute. Although it is hard to be critical when the team posts another clean sheet, the minor defensive lapses could cost them especially if they lose their newfound scoring touch. That being said, Brian Mullen (who I have criticized in the past), Drew Moor, Chris Klute and Shane O'Neill had another solid outing.
The Ugly: Stats don’t lie. There is only one stat that truly matters in a football match, and that is the final score. The Rapids won that stat, but lost every other major stat category. From possession to shots on goal, the Rapids were outplayed for long stretches of the match. But they made the most of their two shots on goal and came out with another victory.
This Rapids team looks and feels different from past teams. They are displaying a testicular fortitude that they have lacked in previous years. With such a massive purge in the off-season to the run of injuries, it was a challenge to come up with expectations for the 2013 season. I had thought they would start out slow and gradually get better and barely miss out on the playoffs, finishing in sixth place in the Western Conference. Are they a playoff team? Are they a MLS Cup winning team? It is too early to make those proclamations, but they are looking more and more like a team who is built to make a run. The Western Conference is tough and the Rapids are on pace for 51 points. Will that be enough?
The Rapids travel to San Jose on Saturday to take on a hurting and hungry Earthquakes team that is stinging from the butt-whipping they took over the weekend. The Rapids continue to get healthier and healthier and this should be another stern test as to where the team is at.