Don't worry. I'm not gonna do what everyone thinks I'm gonna do and freak out. Just talking about the future of the franchise if things don't go the Rapids way the rest of the regular season. The Rapids have played more games than any other MLS team except for Salt Lake. With Fake Salt Lake having a Supporters' Shield within their grasp, it looks like they could tank the rest of the season and still be in the playoffs. With their coach Jason Kreis having won an MLS Cup and having the club in the final of the U.S. Open cup it looks like he's entrenched in his job. But what if the Rapids, who briefly held a share of second in the league, were to miss out on the playoffs?
If there is no playoff soccer in the DSG this year I don't think it's all doom and gloom. The Rapids would have built upon several factors that we didn't have last season. First of all are the rookies Deshorn Brown, Clint Irwin, and Dillon Powers. Building through the draft is vital for a team that doesn't spend a lot of money and rarely uses their designated player slots. So if the Rapids didn't make the playoffs then at least they would have a higher first round pick in the next draft.
The use of the designated player Gabriel Torres is still in it's early stages and while promising with what Torres provided to Panama in the Gold Cup. It remains to be seen if the Rapids can provide the ball to Torres to get him to finish. Which sounds familiar doesn't it? The time in which Colorado gets their best results is when Edson Buddle is playing. Plain and simple. Put Buddle in and free up some space for Torres. The money spent must produce or we must find someone who can take some pressure off of the expensive striker. A Scottie Pippen if you will. Maybe an off-season of tinkering can get Oscar Pareja enough time to come up with a plan to do this. Even though I think the Rapids coaching staff is at its best making adjustments at halftime. Producing results again and again when down or tied at the half. It seems like the plan is to either get Buddle healthy ASAP or find a replacement going into next season and make Brown a supersub with pace coming off of the bench to get a positive result and maybe even contend in a crucial playoff deciding contest before the end of the year. If the Rapids decide that Buddle needs to be replaced then they have all off-season to find that player.
Lastly and most importantly should the Rapids miss the playoffs is that the entire front office come back for a second try with this group of players. Torres coming in at the end of the year coupled with Martin Rivero being hurt all season and having so many injuries while still competing for a playoff spot means to me that they all deserve another chance. 2012 was not a rebuilding year but a see what we have and what direction we want to take the team year. This year is finding out the team chemistry and seeing if they can become perennial playof contenders. Which is better than being a fringe playoff team that gets hot and wins a title. To compete with Salt Lake and the clubs with more resources like LA and Seattle we must build through multiple channels like the draft and bringing in a lot of players that are hungry. I'll take missing out on the playoffs this year if it means that we will be a contender for the MLS Cup for the next five. So while I'll be disappointed if 2013 sees no U.S. Open, Conca-Champions league, or MLS Cup playoff games, I have faith that I'll be in attendance at these events in Colorado in the very near future.