If you were doubting just how hard the Colorado Rapids were hit by injuries and offensive inconsistency from most of their players this season, one only needs to look at the winner of the Rapids Golden Boot award in order to reinforce the idea. Star defensive midfielder Jeff Larentowicz's goal to draw the Rapids level 1-1 with the Vancouver Whitecaps yesterday broke the three way tie between him, Conor Casey and Caleb Folan for the most goals scored on the team.
Larentowicz worked mostly as a specialist this season, getting his seven goals from set pieces with his booming low and hard shot that can sneak its way through walls so very well. He also converted a penalty kick in a game against the New York Red Bulls earlier in the season in a game that was missing both Casey and Folan, the two runners up for the award with six goals a piece. (Casey would almost certainly have won the award had he not shattered his achilles tendon earlier in the season, stalling a fantastic run of goalscoring form where he had put away six goals in seven matches.)
Congratulations to Jeff Larentowicz for being the top dog goals-wise for the Colorado Rapids in 2011... but there is a twinge of unfortunate foreboding in his winning of the award.
Looking at the offensive numbers - even though there were many, many goals scored for this Rapids squad - it's going to take somebody stepping up in the same way that Conor Casey did all through last season's playoffs if the Rapids want to have any prayer of repeating their MLS Cup run of last season. When your leading scorer not only has just seven goals on the year but is also a defensive midfielder, you're in dire need of a star to step up.