A beautiful Friday evening greeted the Colorado Rapids as they took on the Columbus Crew at a sold out Dick's Sporting Goods Park. A disappointing effort from the Burgundy Boys greeted the 18,000 plus fans as the Rapids tied the Crew 1-1 which saw the Rapids not get a goal on their own and get dominated for long periods of the match. The Rapids continue to hold onto a playoff spot as they begin a two game road trip.
Here is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly--Colorado Rapids, Round 18
The Good--Half Way Through
Seventeen games in and the Rapids are 7-5-5 on the year for 26 points and sit in third place in the Western Conference which would allow them to miss the wildcard game in the playoffs. This is so much better then anyone expected or could have predicted. The growth from this young team continues to amaze and players such as Dillon Serna, Shane O'Neill, Chris Klute, Clint Irwin, Dillon Powers, Jared Watts, Marlon Hairston, etc, etc....Let alone some solid (if not surprising in some cases) play from Kamani Hill, Nick LaBrocca, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor and Vicente Sanchez.
Expectations were low after the transition from the old coach to Pablo Mastroeni. And there have been some speed bumps, but overall things are looking good halfway through a season and the brutal Western Conference.
The Bad--3 Out Of 12
There is no denying this fact: the Rapids have taken three points from four home matches that should have all been victories. They lost at home to Chivas USA and tied San Jose Earthquakes, Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew. If they convert those three ties to wins and defeat Chivas at home, they would be tied on points with Seattle Sounders. I know it is a case of "what if" but the reality is this: the Rapids have dropped points that could come back to haunt them later in the season.
The Ugly--The DisCO and Sanchez
The Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee has a big decision to make with Vicente Sanchez after his studs up tackle on the Crew's Hector Jimenez. The play was a horrible tackle and Sanchez was booked for his trouble. It could be argued that he could have received a red for the challenge.
The big issue for me is how the DisCO handles this one. I have been less than complementary with the DisCO as I find them suffering from a lack of transparency and consistency in their decisions. And with the Sanchez case I would fully support a suspension of up to 3 games.
But here is my complaint: how can you suspend and/or fine Sanchez when you let other players get away with dirty play (looking at you Alan Gordon). I am sure that the DisCO will suspend Sanchez (and again, I am OK with that) but it will continue to show the DisCO's inability to find any consistency. And for a league as great as MLS, it is a travesty.
The Rapids are looking at rebounding after a tough result against Columbus Crew and they travel to another Eastern Conference foe, Philadelphia Union. The Union are 4-8-6 on the year and are currently on the outside looking in at the playoff race in the East. The Rapids will be looking to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Union at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in 2013 and this Union team is a team that the Rapids can beat. I would love to see a lineup feature Gabriel Torres and Edson Buddle up front, with Dillon Powers, Kamani Hill, Nick LaBrocca and Dillon Serna in the midfield.