Colorado Rapids met FC Dallas on a rainy Saturday evening in Commerce City and came away with a 2-1 victory. Led by Vicente Sanchez and Edson Buddle the Rapids picked up their second win in a row and brought their season record to 12-8-9 and up to third in the Western Conference table. Tough tests lie ahead, but with just five games left, the Rapids are getting closer to clinching their first playoff appearance since 2011.
Time for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly--Colorado Rapids Week 29:
Never Give Up--Over their history, Colorado Rapids have never been a great team to come back from a deficit and get a result. For years, when the Rapids went down in a match, it usually meant a loss. After going down 1-0 to FC Dallas, the Rapids came back to win 2-1. This has happened multiple times this year--including coming back twice to take the Rocky Mountain Cup back. The fight and the never give up attitude comes from the leaders on the field (Drew Moor, Hendry Thomas) and the coaching staff that has instilled the attitude that the game is never over until the final whistle blows.
Healthy Bodies make for Tough Choices--it has been a long time since the Rapids could say they were completely healthy. The time has come and it bodes well for the team as they finish the season. When you have your pick from Buddle, Deshorn Brown, Gabriel Torres, Sanchez, Martin Rivero, Atiba Harris, Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers, Thomas, Nathan Sturgis, Jaime Castrillon, Danny Mwanga, and Tony Cascio for 6 offensive positions (midfield and forward)....things are good. It makes for tough choices and Oscar Pareja has week in and week out put the best starting XI out there. Some assumed starters may be left on the bench, but you can not argue with the success so far.
Cascadia and our Playoff Possibilities--the road to the MLS Cup playoffs will be driven through Cascadia for the Rapids. Of their five remaining games, four are against Cascadia teams. They have tough road trips to Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps with Seattle Sounders and the Whitecaps come to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Some would say an easier schedule would be nice to ensure a playoff berth, but I argue that playing tougher competition is better for the team as they make a play for a second MLS Cup. It will only get tougher as the calendar turns to November, and Cascadia will help prepare the Rapids for what lies ahead.
As the Rapids get ready for the trip to Portland, they are embarking on the most important 5 game stretch of the season. And the memories of the worse loss of the season has to be there. A 3-0 defeat at the hands of the in-form Timbers was a low point, but also started the incredible run they are on and the Rapids are 7-1-4 since their visit in June to Portland. Will this visit be different for the Rapids? I would not bet against it.