The Colorado Rapids victory against the Montreal Impact wasn't unexpected. Anyone who has seen the Impact play, particularly on the road, knows that the disorganized style of play they brought to Commerce City isn't unusual.
Sporting Kansas City cleaned the Impact clock twice this season in games that were eerily similar to the way the Rapids dispatched their Canadian counterparts.
Does the result mean that the Rapids might turn the corner for the season? Will last weekend's impressive victory re-ignite a sullen Rapids season like their victory over Montreal did last season?
Since no one among the Burgundy Wave staff owns the time-traveling De Lorean from Back To The Future II, such questions are merely speculative in nature.
But some encouraging signs emerged from the Rapids win over a clearly inferior squad. For one thing, some unexpected players stepped up and provided a spark for the boys in burgundy. Burgundy Wave managing editor Chris White has expressed some misgivings about Kamani Hill in the past, but I've largely backed the versatile forward/midfielder. However, Hill has had a tendency to squander the opportunities given to him; it's rare when he starts and rarer still that he makes an impression when he gets that opportunity.
Hill's goal should be a Goal of the Week contender, and it's the type of strike that the Rapids have been missing much of the year. It was the sort of opportunistic shot on goal where Hill created his own luck, rather than slavishly follow the Rapids offensive pattern in recent games where midfielders and forwards chuck the ball around and look for the perfect opening.
Shane O'Neill's strike was also a rarity in the Rapids bag of tricks. When was the last time a Rapids defender took a strike like O'Neill's faraway blast? When has a Rapids defender not named Drew Moor found the net in the run of play and not a set piece.
Goals by Hill and O'Neill were a departure from business as usual for the Rapids in that they're weren't merely looking to Edson Buddle, Deshorn Brown and Gabriel Torres to open the goalscoring for Colorado. In the Montreal game, it seemed that every player was going to try and get on the scoresheet, rather than looking around to see who was going to step up.
And the Rapids deployed some inspiring play in the opening 45 minutes, jumping at a few opportunities rather than feeling their opponents out. While they couldn't chalk up a goal in the run of play, they had their chances. And it was the result of pressuring their opponents that Colorado even had the setup for the dubious penalty kick that gave them a one goal lead going into the half.
The 4-1 victory embodies everything that fans expected out of the Rapids. The only question remains is did we see a Rapids team springing to life last weekend, or a dead-meat Montreal team traveling to town to take their lumps?