As we do every year, Burgundy Wave is counting down our 10 most important things to watch for the Rapids this year. Coming in at number 8 is finishing, once again.
The first time we ever did this '10 keys to the season' thing was two years ago, in the lead-up to the miserable 2012 season. I had noticed during that preseason that, although the team was creating chances for themselves, they seemed to have trouble actually putting the ball in the net. I chalked it partially up to preseason jitters, but I thought it a serious enough issue to put it in my 10 keys for that year.
The year after that, 2013, I decided to throw it in there again, because the finishing in 2012 was so horrendous that it was worth asking for improvement.
Now here we are in 2014, and I'm putting it in again, because the Rapids still haven't had a team that was good at converting their chances since 2010. To wit, a line from my Storylines post yesterday:
Both the 2010 Rapids and the 2013 Rapids had 141 shots on goal. However, the 2013 Rapids got those 141 shots on goal from 460 total shots, and the 2010 team had only 354! They played two more games last year than in 2010, but I don't think they were getting 50 shots per game.
Yeah, the 2010 team wasn't the most lethal team in soccer history, but they were able to take the best of their chances and convert them into goals. Every Rapids team since has failed at that. Last year's team was pretty bad as well, Atiba Harris and Deshorn Brown leading the bad shot conversion charge. If they create the same chances they did last year, and there's no reason they shouldn't with the offense a year older and wiser, they'll have plenty of opportunity to score again. An even marginal improvement in finishing would be enough to add six or seven goals to the Rapids' tally. In this league, that's a lot.