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Must-win territory

How long will it be before we get into the concept of ''every game is a must win?" Or are we there already?

Before the Dallas game last weekend I said, "I really hate the phrase 'must-win games' because it makes the games seem even worse when you inevitably lose them, but this game against FC Dallas and the following game against the San Jose Earthquakes are inching dangerously close to must win territory." Is it really that dire yet though? After the draw with Dallas, it might well be.

San Jose and Colorado go into their game tomorrow seperated by only a point between 4th and 5th place in the West. Had the Rapids beat Dallas, they would have had a comfortable lead on San Jose and a good catch-up on Dallas, leaving room for error - by error I mean another draw with SJ, losing would still hurt them - but drawing with Dallas left them in a bit of a spot. A loss for Colorado will knock them backwards into 5th place by more than a point, something they cannot afford to do if they continue to draw more games than they win or lose. The fact that they have been gaining so many points from ties is probably the only reason they're still in contention at all, actually. So is the rest of the season going to be a bite-your-nails sort of time where a loss could mean certain doom? It will really depend how the Quakes game goes.

I still hate using the term "must-win" to describe games, but considering how this Rapids team has played this season, falling down to 5th place in the West will probably spell the end for them. Yes, the San Jose game IS must-win.

(Or at least must-draw.)