With about a third of the season in the rear view mirror I though I would look at one think that I think is going to make the biggest difference for the Colorado Rapids this season. The big thing that looks to be going in the Rapids favor so far this year is oh they are playing on the Road. In 2012 the Rapids road record was a staggering 3-13-1 with 6 of those losses being by 2 goals or more.
The Rapids so far this year in their two roads losses have lost by 1 goal in each of those; to FC Dallas on a bad play by Steward Ceus, and to the Los Angeles Galaxy on a PK after Drew Moor elbowed Galaxy Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas. Both losses came in the first four games of the season while the Rapids where without a big number of there starters.
During the other away games so far the Rapids have pulled out draws at two of the hardest places to play in BBVA Stadium (Houston) and Rio Tinto (Salt Lake), and pulled out wins against what was at the time a hot Chivas USA and last Saturday in Columbus against the Crew.
I am not ready to say that the Rapids have become a championship caliber team; especially since they have only scored 2 goals twice so far this season. What I am saying is that if they are able to end the year with at least a .500 record on the road the Rapids will be a force to reckon with in the playoffs. If the Rapids did end up with a .500 road record (6-6-5) that would give them 23 points from the road alone. If this does end up happening that would mean they would have to go about the same record at home to make the playoffs. A 12-12-10 overall record would give the Rapids 46 points and would have made them the 5th seed last year.
The Rapids were 8-6-3 at home last year with only one of those losses being by more than 1 goal. The Rapids are currently 2-2-1 at home, and while they have had a couple of tough losses, they are finally starting to get healthy so hopefully they will look more like last years Rapids and end up with a winning record.
While the Rapids still have a lot of season to go; they have certainly performed much better than was expected through now. At the beginning of the season many people, myself included, were very pessimistic about the how the first few games would go. With a much better than expected result so far the Rapids are looking to improve as more and more of the expected starters return from injury.
Rapids fans should thank those players that have stepped up and played admirably in the absence of some of the bigger name players. Obviously players like Clint Irwin have done a lot to earn the respect that he has been getting now, but unsung players like Chris Klute, Shane O’neil, and Brian Mullan have anchored a bend but don’t break defense that has been a huge factor in the Rapids road success this year.