After a two game road trip saw the Colorado Rapids take four out of a possible six points, the team returned to a nearly full Dick's Sporting Goods Park and recorded a 2-0 victory over Chivas USA. The win brought the Rapids to 5-4-4 on the year and 5-1-3 in their last nine matches. Atiba Harris and Nathan Sturgis scored for the Rapids in a game that saw the Rapids lose the possession battle, but took the only stat that really matters.
Cue up the Ennio Morricone Music for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Week 13 edition.
The Good: Obviously the result. Anytime you get three points in front of the home crowd, it is a good feeling. Sturgis put in another solid 90 minute shift, scoring his second on the year. Deshorn Brown caused all sorts of trouble for the Chivas defense and was a menace up and down the pitch all night. Drew Moor, Brian Mullan, Chris Klute, Marvell Wynne and Clint Irwin all had solid defensive games that led to another clean sheet for the Rapids. It was a satisfying victory over a Chivas team in free fall.
The Bad: Martin Rivero: it has been nice to see him out there the last couple of weeks demonstrating why the Rapids have so much faith in him. But to see him crumple in a heap was incredibly disconcerting and there was a collective groan of "not again" from supporters. It appears the incident is not as serious as it could have been and this team has shown its resiliency in dealing with injuries, but this would be a blow for the team to lose him for an extended period of time.
The Ugly: Finishing in the final third. Although Harris scored, he missed an easy goal earlier in the half and he has to finish those opportunities. Kamani Hill had a cross late in the game that if the Rapids would have had someone on the back door, the ball would have gone in. There were several other opportunities that seemed to be squandered for no reason other than a lack of finishing. Against a better team, those blown opportunities will come back to haunt the team.
The Rapids are in the middle of three games in eight days with a big matchup on Saturday against FC Dallas. As Dallas sits top of the table in the Western Conference, a victory would be huge in the standings but also serve notice to the league that there are some good things going on in Colorado. Memories of the season opening loss will be there for Rapids supporters, but with a total team effort a victory should be forthcoming. Whereas in past years, the Rapids have been overmatched and in some cases intimidated. But not the 2013 Rapids. This team has shown they can hang with anyone.