For all intents and purposes, the Rapids getting a point against Real Salt Lake was a good point for the team. It got the Rocky Mountain Cup back and was a result against a team that got a few goals early on in a game with a superb performance from their goalkeeper, along with a huge delay and terrible weather. No questions, it was a decent point to get at home.
However, in the long-term a point at home means that the Rapids' room for error to finish off the month of August has been scraped down to almost nil. Three games remain in the month, two against Western Conference competition. Chivas USA and the Vancouver Whitecaps are not the top teams in the West, but they'll both be looking for big points in the playoff picture. Everyone else in the West is looking to try and stay up at the top as well, and they all have something big on the Rapids: games in hand.
With the RSL game over, Colorado still has the most games played in Major League Soccer. They have 24, two teams in the West have 23, five teams in the West have 22, and the Seattle Sounders are currently giggling like madmen with 20 games played, holding four in hand with the Rapids and at least two in hand with everyone else.
Colorado's current Points Per Game is 1.46, which isn't in the top five. In fact, that would put them sixth in the West, and only a single hundredth of a point over FC Dallas. You add that to the gaggle of games in hand everyone else has on the Rapids, and you can see how their second-place location is a bit of a mirage.
Here's how many games remaining in August that the other teams in the West have, in order of their position on the table as of today:
- Real Salt Lake - 5
- Portland Timbers - 4
- LA Galaxy - 4
- Vancouver Whitecaps - 3
- FC Dallas - 4
- Seattle Sounders - 4
- San Jose Earthquakes - 4
- Chivas USA - 3
So the only two teams with the same number of games remaining as the Rapids are both playing the Rapids, and everyone else has more games than them. And a lot of those teams have CCL games and Open Cup matches that are clogging up the schedule right now, which will give them even more league games in September, when the Rapids only have three games.
What I'm saying is that the Rapids really, really, really need to win at least two of the final three games this month, and all three of them if at all possible. If they don't, they'll be stuck on the couch watching their playoff destiny be decided by the other teams around them. It will get a lot easier in October, when they have four games to pick up points again with four Western conference games. Until then, every game has to be considered 'Must-Win'.