Colorado Rapids 10 Keys To 2014: A Good Summer

USA TODAY Sports

We never heard the end of the old 'summer slump' trope when it came to the Rapids until last year, when they tore through it after a tough start to the season. Let's do it again!

As we do every year, Burgundy Wave is counting down our 10 most important things to watch for the Rapids this year. Coming in at number 6 is a good summer.

I've never been one for belief in the old 'Rapids Summer Slump' trope that always seemed to be trotted out, since the success of the team never seemed to be inexplicably tied to the Summer performances alone. That changed the past two seasons. It's hard to remember, but in 2012 we weren't actually in full meltdown mode until the Rapids managed to go 0-6-0 in the month of July, which kickstarted the slide to the bottom that we all remember the 2012 season as.

Meanwhile, the summer legitimately saved the upstart 2013 Rapids, who stumbled out of the gate and then ran a couple of streaks in both directions en route to a 5-6-5 record going into their first game of the summer against the Portland Timbers. They lost that game 3-0, but the team followed that shellacking by slowly clawing their way out of their injury crisis and going 5-1-4 from the last game of June to the end of August. Colorado had a bit of up and down play after that (see: 5-1 win over Seattle followed by 1-0 loss to San Jose) but those summer points were enough to keep them in the playoffs right until the end.

Just about everyone agrees that we've got a brutal schedule to start the season. Colorado plays the reigning Supporters' Shield winners, the reigning Western Conference winners and the current MLS Cup champions in succession. That in mind, we're probably going to need the relatively tame (by comparison) summer to provide the points if the Rapids are going to build a playoff resume before the last minute.

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