Time For The Rapids' Eastern Invasion!

Pablo must find the right mix to get the Rapids back on track. - Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Rapids coined eastern invasion starts this weekend and for the next three home games. For Colorado to make the playoffs, they must take maximum points like an early Napoleanic army.

After a lifeless match against Chivas USA and two-thirds of the game against Real Salt Lake, the Colorado Rapids seemed to have awoken because of an egregious penalty. I don't know why it took that call to get the Rapids to start focusing against their main rival. None the less it was good to see the Rapids get out of their funk without Vicente Sanchez dating back to the game winner Sanchez scored against the LA Galaxy on May 3rd. With visits from Montreal Impact, Houston Dynamo, and the Chicago Fire coming up with-in the next few weeks it should be a good time for the Rapids to get well and back on the road to the playoffs.

When the worst team in the Western Conference Chivas USA visited Colorado two weeks ago, the Rapids let them get out of Denver with a point. The absolutely cannot let the East's worst side, Montreal, leave with the same result. Whatever magic the Rapids captured against Salt Lake at the end of the match needs to be imposed earlier against the floundering Impact. The return of Jose Mari will hopefully help the Rapids return to their form in the earlier season. Doing that means keeping Felipe Martins and Justin Mapp off of the score-sheet.

I don't think that will be the problem even though the defense is playing musical chairs right now. I think the long term problem is how are the Rapids going to score? Vicente Sanchez is not long term. He might not be short-term either. It seems to me without Sanchez the Rapids are lost. Who was the leader in offensive situations before he joined the Rapids? Last game against Salt Lake, Drew Moor barely missed three chances and converted one. But Moor can't do it all. The Rapids have been active in bringing defenders in this season but maybe the answer is another Sanchez like creator.

Is it to early to call the first designated player in Colorado history a bust? One of the highest paid players on the team, Gabriel Torres, doesn't look fit. He also doesn't look happy. I guess he wasn't going to play anyway but maybe he's not going to work out. Who were the other teams the Rapids were bidding against for his services? Hopefully Gaby gets "fit" on his sabbatical to Panama. If Torres' play and attitude can be attributed to a clash with Pablo, then he's going to lose that one against the local legend turned coach. So start earning the money you get paid.

After Montreal, Colorado welcomes Houston on Sunday afternoon June 1st. Currently third place in the Eastern Conference. Then three nights later Chicago visits Denver and the track record of the Rapids on Wednesday games against the Fire is not good. I'll go one game further. The Rapids visit FC Dallas three nights later to play Oscar Pareja's side for the first time since he left. With what the other coaches side that left Colorado last season, (Chivas USA 3, Rapids 1), I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. It's shaping up to be a rough summer of Rapids soccer. They need help in several areas of the starting 11. The glue of the team is out until after the World Cup break. Our DP is out of the country playing games that don't count. Yet the Rapids are still in the playoff picture. We got that going for us. At least were not in fantasy land like L.A. Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.

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