Colorado Rapids continued a painful trend of playing down to their level of competition and tied lowly Chivas USA 1-1 in Los Angeles Sunday night. It was one of the more frustrating matches of the year with the Rapids controlling nearly 70% of possession on the evening, but unable to tally more than one goal. However, the match saw the return of an old face and the debut of a new one. Oh, and then there was that whole Designated Player saga.
Here is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Colorado Rapids Week 24
New Faces and the return of Old Faces - A tough year has faced Martin Rivero as he has missed a good portion of the season due to injury. He did make his return on Sunday night and scored a beautiful header to tie up the match. His return to the pitch increased the Rapids creativity and pace as they continued to push forward to get the equalizer and hopefully game winner. It was great to see Rivero back.
Along with Rivero's return, the Rapids welcomed Vicente Sanchez to the field, who started the second half. Sanchez was very good on the ball and you could see the younger Rapids listening to his direction and talking their cue from him. When Rivero and Sanchez were both on the field it offered goal starved Rapids fans a glimpse into the future.
And the future is quite bright when Rivero's return and the Sanchez signing are second and third fiddle to the signing of the Rapids first Designated Player, Gabriel Torres. Although unable to play on Sunday, Rapids fans got an idea as to what we were getting when he scored in a brief cameo for the reserves match on Monday. When you think of Rivero, Sanchez and Torres on the pitch at the same time, the playoffs seem very realistic.
Deshorn Brown - I am sure that no one is being harder on Brown then he is, but simply he was not at his best. Three missed shots and, of course, the missed penalty kick were very tough to take. That PK would have leveled it in the first half and could have proven to be the catalyst for a better night for the Rapids.
The Chivas USA Result - Normally, any result on the road is a good one. The adage is: win at home, tie on the road. And so I guess you can take the tie with some happiness. But the sad truth is that Chivas USA is not a good team and the Rapids should have taken all three points. They had 26 shots (7 on goal) and have only a point to show for it. In the highly competitive Western Conference, it is simply not enough.
A rough game for the Rapids was buffered by two big signings and optimism for the rest of the year. I ran some (very) unscientific numbers taking into account current form and came up with a possible final table in the Western Conference. (All point figures are rounded as appropriate. I took PPG results from last 7 games and multiplied that out by number of remaining games and added that figure to games already played.)
Seattle Sounders FC--58 points
Real Salt Lake--57 points
Vancouver Whitecaps--53 points
Colorado Rapids--53 points
Portland Timbers--50 points
Los Angeles Galaxy--50 points
San Jose Earthquakes--47 points
FC Dallas--40 points
Chivas USA--27 points
Can the Rapids get to 53 points? If they are to do so they cannot afford any more slip-ups and continue their good run of form.