Before the 2012 season began, I counted down the Top 10 keys to a successful season. Obviously, the season was anything but successful, so looking back at them is probably not going to be that much fun. Here's No. 6, finishing.
Hoo boy. This wasn't a fun one. Before the season, we noticed an unfortunate trend during the Hawaii Tournament and a few of the preseason games -- the Rapids were taking a lot of shots, but weren't scoring a lot of goals. We were hoping that it wouldn't carry over to the regular season. We apparently were right to worry, as the finishing was pretty awful all season long.
Colorado increased their goal output from set pieces this season, but couldn't seem to figure out how to score from the run of play. Regularly, they would go through games holding 60% possession and putting 15 or more shots out, but only putting a couple on target and none in the net. Colorado was sixth in the league in shots and shots on goal, but were only 11th in the league in goals.
Looking at some of the individual numbers, there was much to be desired. Martin Rivero had a dismal 3.3% shot conversion rate. Conor Casey had a 5.3% SCR. Omar Cummings was at 7.3%. All of the guys who were supposed to be putting up the goals simply weren't despite taking those shots. (To give you an idea of what's considered good in that regard, Cummings and Casey both put together SCR's of about 18% in 2010.)
There was a bit of bad luck involved -- I think the Rapids might have led the league with shots clattering the crossbar and posts -- but when you have a bunch of your star players putting up such dismal numbers you're probably not going to do very well.
Here's something to look forward to for the future though, even with the bad finishing we had this year, they still put up 44 goals. If that gets even marginally better and the defense improves next year, we'll probably be in pretty solid shape. Perhaps we'll see more time from Tony Cascio, Kamani Hill and Andre Akpan as well next season, all of whom put up good SCR numbers in their short time this season. (Be warned of small sample size, of course.)