Two months into the 2014 season and the Rapids are firmly entrenched in the playoff race. April witnessed two great road victories over Vancouver and Toronto. With their confidence riding high and bottom of the table San Jose Earthquakes visiting Dick's Sporting Goods Park the Rapids couldn't score but didn't concede either. A home draw to a win-less Quakes team seemed like the low point of the month but the trip to Century-Link field in Seattle proved to be too big of a challenge and the Rapids gave their worst performance of the season. Let's look back at the month of April.
This match was the coming out party for Jose Mari as he scored a brace to earn the three points north of the border for the Rapids. Mari earned MLS goal of the week for his first goal of the match.
Clint Irwin made his 2014 debut in the win, stopping 6 Whitecap shots. The MLS schedule makers did the Rapids no favors by putting 2 consecutive north of the border trips in a week. It didn't seem to bother the Rapids that much.
The only thing more memorable then the drinking game my viewing party had whenever the announcers talked about how bad the field conditions were was Edson Buddle scoring his 99th career MLS goal. Hopefully we don't have to hear about this story until the fireworks game. I'm rooting for Buddle to get his 100th very soon because with the play in the San Jose game I think we will be waiting awhile.
Clint Irwin earned a clean sheet without even having to make a save against the last place San Jose Earthquakes. The Rapids dominated possession 61/39 percent but could only manage one shot on goal against Jon Busch and the Quakes and what seemed like a sure three points based on how the Rapids were playing earlier in the month turned into only one.
The Rapids highlight of the match was home-grown signee Dillon Serna scoring his first professional goal and the first homegrown Colorado Rapids player to score in MLS. Other than that, I suppose United States National Team fans hope Clint Dempsey keeps this form through July especially during the 2014 Brazil World Cup. A brace for Dempsey made it a league leading eight goals on the season.
This match brought back nightmares of the match last year against the Portland Timbers at the end of a three matches in 8 days spot that ended with a trip to Portland. The Rapids easily played their worst game of the season in the 3-0 loss. The Timbers finished 11-1-5 at then Jeld-Wen field. One loss! The depleted Rapids team never had a chance. Maybe all the international travel and let down against the Earthquakes led to the Seattle debacle. In every sport every team has a let down game. The Rapids exit April as a surprising team. Taking all the points from Canada and only getting one from domestic teams. Luckily Colorado doesn't have to travel far only to California and to Utah for the first Rocky Mountain Cup match of the season. Making the playoffs is the most important goal for the Rapids right now. The Rapids April left them square in the fight with a little breathing room. Hopefully May will keep that going.