That feeling you get when you forget something, or lose something is the same feeling that the Rapids faithful have been feeling for most of the 2013 season. The feeling that something is missing, the panic that sets in once you realize its not with you, and you aren't whole.
We all know that the Rapids have been much more successful then anyone thought that they were going to be before the season began, and much of that was done without the creativity of Martin Rivero who was out with injury problems for the majority of this season. The Rapids then had to rely on youth, tactics, game planning, and all out brawn to beat opponents. It has been a straightforward season thus far. Well, at least until now.
The arrival of Vincente Sanchez changed all that. And it coincided with the re-emergence of the long lost Rivero. The Rapids went from nothing to everything in a week. That leaves one obvious issue, finishing, in which the Rapids hope to eliminate with their first ever DP Gabriel Torres.
If one were to play FIFA, the video game, as the Rapids without Rivero and Sanchez, the dribbling skill bar would be well below average. With both of them active, it would be well above average. The difference that style of player makes for a team is, for lack of a better term, huge.
I'm not going to compare the two players, because its a win win situation, much like the Clint Irwin vs Matt Pickens argument. Colorado can't lose with either one on the field. The accurate crosses, the ability to take on traffic, and the blistering shots from outside the eighteen are threats that both players have. And the best part? They will be fresh, each and every game. They are interchangeable. A dangerous duo that brightens the sky above Dick's Sporting Good Park increasing the ray of hope to rayS of hope to being a significant threat in the playoffs.
Chances are good that we won't see both players on the field at the same time, being that Dillon Powers, Nathan Sturgis, and Hendry Thomas have solidified the midfield situation. The best option for them will be to play a striker role up top alongside Torres and DeShorn Brown. It doesn't matter who starts, that's not an argument worth having. But one will start, and the other will sub, and that may change based on who is fresh, or who the opponent is. With the addition of these two players, my confidence in the team has sky rocketed from where it has before. We all know what they can do, we all know how they play, so that's not the issue. It's who is going to be more successful? What can Rivero learn from Sanchez, since he is the future and Sanchez is a band-aid to give the Rapids a much needed boost on the attacking side.
The Rapids will go from their typical 4-2-3-1 to Pareja's first choice, a 4-3-3. With the back four playing as solid as they have, the defense isn't an issue, and with Powers owning the midfield, that leaves the strikers as the only issue the Rapids had going into playoff run time. That's been addressed. Yes, Torres, Sanchez, and Rivero were the missing links to a team that could make a cup run THIS YEAR, and that's saying a lot coming from a skeptical me.