Back in the Thugcast a few weeks ago, I made a bold guarantee to Ben. I said that after the horror show that was last July, where the Rapids went 0-6-0 with some absolutely awful performances, the Rapids were guaranteed not to lose six games this time around. In fact, I was willing to bet my life that they weren't going to lose six games in July.
That's only because there are only five games this July, though. (Oddly enough, the one game they won last July was their friendly against Swansea, and they'll have a mid-month friendly this time around as well.)
In all seriousness though, this July looks to be a much easier test than last year's installment. There are some key differences on the Rapids side of things, of course: they've looked like a much deeper and more mentally stable team than they did last year. Four of their five games are at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. They'll also not be playing a slate of games quite as hard as the onslaught they got last year and they'll have the amazingly steady Shane O'Neill anchoring the back-line again, not bad odds to take for a month with a win or, let's go crazy, maybe even a few.
Let's see what's ahead, shall we?
July 4th vs. New York Red Bulls: If July is to start out well, the Rapids need (NEED) to play well on July 4th. They've almost always done well in fireworks games in their history, but the last three seasons have been exceptions to that rule. Last year especially was absolutely terrible, a 1-0 loss to the Whitecaps where they had approximately one chance and the Rapids missed something like 20 of them. That started the slide last year, and an exciting result against NYRB could do the exact opposite this time around. Also, I'm moving to Florida the day after this game so I'm gonna be straight mad if they can't pull out one last win for me!
Prediction: 2-1 win
July 7th vs. DC United: You thought the 2010 version of the Black & Red was bad? I called that team the 'worst in MLS history' at the time, but this season they've managed to look even worse. Their offense has made Colorado's look downright competent, and they've leaked 27 goals in 17 games leading to a horrific looking GD of -19. Then again, last time they came to Colorado as major underdogs in 2010, Gary Smith put out an entire line-up of back-ups and lost 1-0 on a Danny Allsopp goal. (Typing that made me bleed from the eyes, by the way.)
Prediction: 2-0 win
July 12th vs. Santos Laguna: lol friendlies
Prediction: 42-0 Rapids win
July 17th vs. New England Revolution: Here's where it starts to get very interesting. Against NYRB, they'll have the whole 'July 4th' thing going for them. Against DC, they'll have the whole 'DC is really, really bad' thing going for them. New England is a whole different beast, though. They've got a very good attacking squad with a young but talented defense, much like the Rapids do. As much as I'd like to say the Rapids win it, it's far more likely that the two sides cancel each-other out.
Prediction: 1-1 draw
July 20th @ Seattle Sounders: The one road game of the month comes in a stadium where the Rapids have never won a game, and only ever came even close to sniffing a win once, in that game where they played on a slip 'n' slide and Conor Casey tore his Achilles. Seattle isn't in an awful run of form any more, either. I believe the expected result is spelled 'D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R'?
Prediction: 3-1 loss
July 27th vs. LA Galaxy: Here's the most interesting one of the month. LA has been surprisingly shaky at points this year, and had to get a red card from Drew Moor in order to take down Colorado at HDC earlier this season. Regardless, if they're playing a front line of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, there's little that any team in MLS can do to stop them. If Colorado has actually found their offense at this point in the season, there's a chance that a win could come, but I'm not quite ready to place that bet yet.
Prediction: 2-2 draw
So, a slightly optimistic prediction for a 2-1-2 month for Colorado is what I came up with. Would you take that? I know I would.