Colorado Rapids April Preview - The Tests Continue

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado had a daunting looking schedule in March, and they escaped with four points. Now, they'll face another very tough month with three road matches against hard opposition.

For all the complaining that has come out of Rapids fans since the loss to Sporting Kansas City, it's still pretty neat that the Rapids took on both Conference's winners and the MLS Cup champs from 2013 in March and came out with four points, possibly with a chance for more but for a Marvell Wynne red card and a goal of the week candidate against them.

Now that that's out of the way, however, things don't get much easier. Vancouver away is the easiest looking match on the docket for month no. 2 of the season, and that's the same venue where the Caps spanked the Red Bulls 4-1 earlier this year. Besides that you have a resurgent Toronto side, the goddamn Quakes, and Colorado's old foe who still has only ever lost two games against the Rapids in team history.

Perhaps most daunting of all, two of the four games this month will take place in stadiums where the Rapids have never won (except that one time in Toronto, but that doesn't count). It's going to either be a long, long month, or a month where the Rapids take that bit of spark we saw in March and turn it into a solid campaign. It's no longer the three big dogs of the 2013 season they're facing, and this month will likely tell us a lot more about this team's potential for 2014 than those first three games did.

4/5 @ Vancouver Whitecaps - I still think this Whitecaps team is overrated. That 4-1 win is going to be the exception, not the rule, for the Caps this year. That 0-0 draw against New England was one of the worst MLS games I've ever seen, and Vancouver got outplayed by 10-man Chivas for some stretches in their game against the goats. I think the Rapids get something from this game. 2-2 draw.

4/12 @ Toronto FC - I'd love to say that Toronto's smackdown from Real Salt Lake was the sign of things to come that Toronto's detractors were waiting for, but I'd take Micheal Bradley, Gilberto, Alvaro Rey and Jermain Defoe over the Rapids somewhat shaky-looking defense, especially at the anti-Rapids fortress that is BMO Field. 2-1 Toronto win.

4/19 vs. San Jose Earthquakes - The Rapids have been hot dog crap against the Quakes since they beat them in that Eastern Conference Final four years back. In 2012, they lost all three games against them by a 10-3 margin. In 2013, Oscar Pareja never figured out how to deal with them and for his troubles he got two losses, a draw and some suspensions. Since the Rapids are at home and aren't going to start Atiba Harris this time around, they might have a chance at sneaking a win from this one. 2-1 Rapids win.

4/ 26 @ Seattle Sounders - Yeah, yeah, 5-1 win. It feels like that happened ages ago now, and after the horror show that was the playoff match at CenturyLink Field last year, I'm not particularly optimistic about the outlook here, even against possibly the weakest looking team that the Sounders have ever had in MLS. Assuming the Rapids actually play their game (don't Pareja it!) they'll have a fighting chance at a draw based in attacking talent alone. 1-1 draw.

So last month, the Rapids got four points. This time around, I'm predicting they get five from a month. We'll see if I'm being too cautiously pessimistic or the other way around come mid-month.

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