Colorado Rapids wrapped up the Preseason with a 2-2 tie with New England Revolution in Tucson, AZ. Led by goals from Edson Buddle and Vicente Sanchez, the Rapids battled through a waterlogged pitch and terrible conditions to bring their preseason record to 4-2-2.
This offseason and preseason were very interesting to observe. From the departure of former Head Coach Oscar Pareja to the Rapids struggling to name a new coach, the last several months showed that Rapids supporters could be in for a wild ride this 2014 season.
Here is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly—Colorado Rapids Preseason
The Good: Same Faces, New Opportunities.
Although there were some departures of note this off-season (Hendry Thomas, Martin Rivero, Pareja, Jaime Castrillon) the core of the team remained in Commerce City. The group that help lead this team to the playoffs in 2013 still is here including Drew Moor, Clint Irwin, Nathan Sturgis, etc. But what was most exciting this preseason was seeing players like Dillon Serna and Kamani Hill getting solid looks and proving that they deserved consideration for at least the starting 18 every match, if not the Starting XI. Hill was a lost man last year under Oscar and Serna did not make an appearance until the very end of the season. Both lads played well over the eight games of preseason and should get significant playing time during the 2014 season.
The Bad: Oscar Leaving
Make no mistake about it, losing Oscar hurts. Some may not have liked his tactics or player rotation (I am not a fan of his unwillingness to try different players), but you cannot argue his success. He left shortly before the Super Draft to go home to FC Dallas and it left a void within the organization. The Rapids front office shoulders some of the blame for this. If they had granted permission to FC Dallas in November when they originally asked for it, a lot of this will he stay or will he go, could have been avoided. You can’t keep a guy who does not want to be here.
The Ugly: What is the holdup with naming a coach
It reflects very badly on the Rapids that less than a week from the 2014 Major League Soccer season kicking off, there is still not a head coach. Quite frankly, I am at a loss. I appreciate being diligent and making sure that you have the right person who fits your philosophy, but this is bordering on maddening. It makes the Rapids look quite foolish around the league and upsets supporters who love this team.
From the press I have been reading, not many people think that the Rapids can duplicate their success from 2013. I am assuming that these are the same folks that said the Rapids would never have a Designated Player, win an MLS Cup or sell out a World Cup Qualifier. All of those things have happened, and the easiest thing that the Rapids can do is continue to show the doubters that they are again wrong, and make a run at another MLS Cup.