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Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes - The good, the bad, the ugly

The Rapids lose a victory in heartbreaking fashion as they tie 1-1 with the Quakes.

Doug Pensinger

The collective groan that was heard on the Eastern side of the Denver Metro area was Colorado Rapids fans expressing their disgust and anger at our Beloved Burgundy Boys dropping points at home.  It was another match that the Rapids played well enough to win, but a single moment of bewildering madness meant the Rapids shared points with San Jose Earthquakes in a 1-1 draw.  With just four matches left, Rapids fans are left wondering if this team will win another game this year.

Here is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly--Colorado Rapids, Round 30

The Good: Holy Cow, we DO have a Designated Player!

It is a shame that it has taken Pablo Mastroeni the ENTIRE season to realize that we have a pretty damn good striker in Gabriel Torres.  Whether it was form, trust, playing style--there was always a reason why Torres was not playing.  He has started the last two games and has show some of the skills, pace, and presence that convinced the Rapids that he was the right person to be the first DP in Rapids history.  His goal on Saturday was beautiful (with some pretty delicious service from Chris Klute) and it shows what he can do when he plays.  As I have said in previous articles, Torres is a no doubt starter the rest of the way.

The Bad:  This was the final nail

It was always going to be tough to claw back into the playoff race, but with Portland Timbers losing earlier in the day, the Rapids had a shot to at least close the gap.  But the Rapids were unable to hold a lead and ended up drawing at the death.  It is simply a microcosm of this year and it better leave a bitter taste with all of the Lads that pull on that jersey.

The Ugly:  Goalkeeper Management

I am a fan of Mastroeni and I will not hide it.  I do believe he is the best person for this job and he will be a better coach next year, but his handling of goalkeepers is darn near criminal.  I am absolutely clueless as to how Joe Nasco gets a start over Clint Irwin in this match.  Nasco was terrible against RSL and has looked average at best whereas Irwin has performed very well, despite a dreadful defense.  Irwin is the future of this team and the way that Mastroeni has handled this has helped Irwin to regress this year.  Playing musical goalkeepers is a terrible strategy and Mastroeni needs to pick his starter and let everyone know what is what.

After blowing another late lead, the Rapids reward is a visit from one of the best teams in Major League Soccer, Seattle Sounders FC.  I am not sure that the Rapids have the horses to run with Seattle, and it could be another long day at the office.  I have been thinking about formation and how the Rapids should lineup with Seattle, and came up with this:

GK: Clint Irwin

DEF:  Chris Klute, Shane O'Neill, Thomas Piermayr, Marvell Wynne

MID:  Dillon SernaNick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers, Carlos Alvarez

F:  Gabriel Torres, Deshorn Brown

That is not exactly a defensive minded lineup, but lets be honest here, the Rapids will not win if they park the bus.  Seattle has a suspect back four, and can be scored upon (hell, Chivas USA scored twice on them).  I have not been impressed with the defensive prowess of Jose Mari as of late and as such he starts on the bench for me.  Powers cannot be started on the outside, and I like the partnership that he has with LaBrocca.

A victory, or any result for that matter, would be a massive boost for the Rapids as they finish the final four matches of the year.  Can the Burgundy Boys pull this off?  Honestly, my heart says hell yes, but my mind says probably not.