The Colorado Rapids enjoyed a 10 day break from MLS play after the 0-0 draw with DC United on July 7. The team travelled down to Albuquerque for a friendly with Santos Laguna on Friday and although the team dropped a 2-1 decision, Matt Pickens saw his first action since breaking his arm against earlier this year. Overall a realitively quiet week for the Rapids, but there are three games in 11 days which will affords them the opportunity to make strides up the table.
Time for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Week 20 edition
The Good: Matt Pickens - It was great to see Pickens back in action and lead his team out against Santos Laguna. Although it was just a friendly, having him on the pitch is a great boost to this team as they head into the business half of the season. I am not saying that Clint Irwin needs to be benched, but having two goalkeepers you can rely on will be critical for the Rapids as they make their push for a Western Conference playoff spot.
The Bad: Playing time - I begin to wonder if Oscar Pareja becomes over reliant on certain players. I appreciate that I am not at practices to see how players do there, but I wonder what guys like Kevin Harbottle, Tony Cascio and Kamani Hill have to do to get a look in the game. Having the speed and touch of a Harbottle would be nice to see out there this week.
The Ugly: Marvell Wynne - I get that Wynne wants to play and is not happy about his bench role, but the truth is he is out of form and has looked poor this year. Quite honestly, if he had played better this year and kept his focus, he would still be in the Starting XI. Things can certainly change, but who would you drop to the bench so Wynne could play?
The Rapids face a tough stretch with New England Revolution on Wednesday and then they travel to face Seattle Sounders in a place they have never won. Two games in four days will test the Rapids, but if they are serious about a playoff berth they need to take care of business at home and then push for a result in Seattle on Saturday.