It's easy to want to avoid change when things are going well. Such was the case for the Rapids in the past few weeks, with Martin Rivero getting the bench despite being in full health. Fans have been calling for him to play Rivero in a starting role since he first appeared back on the bench, but it was hard to argue that his absence was particularly harmful. After all, the Rapids were nursing a nine-game unbeaten streak on the backs of powerful midfield play by Dillon Powers, Nathan Sturgis and Hendry Thomas.
Unfortunately, all that went out the window on Saturday and we were instead treated to one of the worst midfield performances all season. Powers was ineffective, Sturgis looked like the Sturgis of old and Thomas had all the rough and tumble we've come to expect with less of the finesse. I've already said how bad I considered that first half to be, and the second half was a marked improvement.
Was that because Rivero was introduced shortly after the half began? Not necessarily. Colorado was bound to improve regardless and whatever went on in the half-time talk had noticeably calmed them down. He still brought possession and attack-minded play that was lacking with the usual three in the middle, though, and that's the biggest key. If Powers misfires, the entire link to the offense dies without Rivero out there.
Though he may not have been playing him lately, that SKC result may force his hand when the game against LA comes.