In the same vein as my talk with Scott K. of Brotherly Game before the game between the Philadelphia Union and the Colorado Rapids, Martin Shatzer from Black and Red United and I got together for a back and forth about our favorite clubs.
Martin Shatzer: You must be feeling pretty good about your chances this year. Do the Rapids have a shot at going deep in the playoffs?
uzworm: Had you asked me a few weeks ago, my opinion would have been no.
uzworm: But the fact that they basically traded Mehdi Ballouchy for Brian Mullan and got Mac Kandji - who has been sensational since joining the Rapids, by the way - has actually given me hope that they can put together a run in the playoffs. They might not win the cup, but I say they can get to the semis at least.
uzworm: For me, next year is the real make or break season for the Rapids if they hope to get a cup.
uzworm: Cummings and Casey will both turn 30, Mullan will probably be on his last legs, Claudio Lopez will probably want to leave if he hadn't left already, etc.
Martin Shatzer: Why look to next year when you can win now? RSL managed to do it with fewer attacking options last season.
uzworm: Well hey, I'm a Rapids fan, I'm a born pessimist
Martin Shatzer: As a fan of a team that has been out of the playoffs since around Week 4, I'm looking for a team to root for. Obviously the Sounders and Red Bulls are out of the question. Give me a reason why I should root for the Rapids.
uzworm: Well, if you're looking to find a team that's never won a game with a pretty steady fanbase, you could do worse than the Rapids.
uzworm: Basically it's the whole "everyone roots for the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns" dynamic.
uzworm: That plus it's a team of players who have never seen the big show so it'd be nice for 'em.
uzworm: Brian Mullan notwithstanding, obviously.
uzworm: Won a *championship* game, that is.
uzworm: I carn't spel
uzworm: Question for you; with all the holes in the current DC squad, what position do you think they'll be looking for with that coveted #3 draft pick?
Martin Shatzer: In general, I think the team will be targeting a striker, a CAM, a central defender, and a right back this offseason. Those are the biggest needs. Hard to say which one they'll specifically look to acquire in the draft, but my money is on striker. Seems like forwards are more Sure Things than other positions in the draft. A pure scorer like Danny Mwanga or Teal Bunbury would be a big improvement over Danny Allsopp.
uzworm: Something tells me most of the people who played soccer at my high school would be an improvement over Danny Allsopp.
Martin Shatzer: Yeah, he just never fit in. He does some good work off the ball, and does have four goals on the season, but his pace isn't up to MLS striker standards.
Martin Shatzer: Our other starting forward Pablo Hernandez has shown great potential, but he's not much of a scorer. He needs a partner. And Allsopp isn't it.
uzworm: When your leading scorer is a midfielder with 5 goals, makes sense.
uzworm: A 17 year old midfielder, at that.
Martin Shatzer: Well that's about all the abuse I can take for one night. Good luck tomorrow night. May the best team win.
Martin Shatzer: And by best team, I mean the best time over the history of MLS :)
uzworm: Indeed. A win over DC will pretty much clinch the Rapids playoff chances though, so I gotta wish bad against United.
uzworm: Especially since Colorado's remaining games are against teams like Dallas, LA and RSL again.
You'll notice that I couldn't spell anything today. Go to Black and Red United to see the first half!