I already pointed out how lucky we are to even be in the position we're in right now a week ago. Still technically a Supporters' Shield candidate? A few wins away from a record number of points and a playoff berth with a team that seems deeper and stronger than the injury-rattled team that got creamed in the 2011 playoffs? Let's just savor the moment here. This is a good Rapids team no matter what happens, and it's going to get even better as the years go by.
That said, it's October, and the Rapids could have a real chance to hoist a trophy at the end of it all if they can make their way into the playoff mix. That, unfortunately, is easier said than done. They'll be playing the likely Shield winners, one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment, and a team that will be in full-on desperation mode, twice. That's no cakewalk of a four-game stretch, and unlike last year it doesn't seem likely that every other team from 4th-7th in the West are going to suddenly crash and burn to give the Rapids an easy road into the playoffs.
Every game is important at this point of the season. 12 points are on the line. Gaining any fewer than six of them could spell disaster. Let's take a look at what we're dealing with in October.
10/5 vs. Seattle Sounders - The last time that the Rapids won a game against the Sounders, they went on to win the MLS Cup at the end of the year. Is this a sign?! (No it is not.) It's going to be a very tough ask to get three points against a blazing hot Seattle team, even at home.
BW Prediction - 2-2 Draw
10/9 @ San Jose Earthquakes - San Jose has quietly become one of the most in-form teams in MLS over the past few weeks. However, they still have a good number of deficiencies and it isn't out of the question for the Rapids to march into Buck Shaw stadium and steal a dirty, rotten win from the dirty, rotten Quakes.
BW Prediction -
Fuck the Quakes 2-1 Win
10/19 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - If the Rapids do get four points from their first two games of the month, this game could be the one that punches their playoff ticket for good and knocks Vancouver down their final peg. The Whitecaps are notoriously awful in the closing stages of the season -- they only made the playoffs last year because every single other team in the West appeared determined to give that spot to them -- and the Rapids will hopefully be able to repeat their fantastic win from earlier in the season on home turf.
BW Prediction - 2-0 Win
10/27 @ Vancouver Whitecaps - In a perfect world, this game would be meaningless. It's likely not going to work out quite like that, but hopefully this won't be a one-game playoff for the final spot in the league.
BW Prediction - 1-1 Draw