There were several frustrating matches during July for the Colorado Rapids, as was to be expected from the outset. Any month where you're playing two of the best teams in the East along with away matches at Seattle and Kansas City, you can't expect to be sneaking out every single point from the month - though I did try and provide incentives for them!
Before the month began, I said that the Rapids were going to need to get at least 11 points out of July to consider it a successful month, while predicting they would escape with a 3-2-2 record if they were lucky. Well, the Rapids were indeed a little bit lucky and a little bit good as the month went along, exceeding my expectations in both areas with only a single loss on the month, as they earned 12 points on a 3-1-3 clip.
There were problems as the month went along for sure. Two of the three games that the Rapids drew were very winnable games - Houston on July 4th was supposed to be a wash and New England have been historically terrible in Colorado - and the team's trophy chances were given essentially a near death-blow with the loss of Conor Casey, the team's leading scorer. (Then again, the Nyassi-Cummings forward line has looked more dangerous than anything we've seen in Colorado in team history for the two games they've been together. I don't expect them to continue on anything close to the torrid pace they've held so far but it's still worth noting.)
With the team currently at a very respectable 34 points heading into August, the 40 point playoff crossing point looks to be incredibly easy for the Rapids to cross. With the injury and form problems that plagued the team earlier in the season, I can safely say that the Rapids will be fine shooting for 45-50 points and nestling into a comfortable playoff position to prepare for perhaps another magical run like last season's.
July might be where we look back and say 'this was the tipping point to the beginning of a great run of form to end 2011' and that's exactly what we needed it to be.