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The Colorado Rapids can't afford to make this team a lost cause

By this point in 2012, we knew that the Rapids were a lost cause, and it was for the best. This team, however, can't afford to give up now.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You'll have to go back to 2012 to find the last time that the Colorado Rapids felt quite as low as they do right now. They've now dropped three straight matches, two against arguably their two biggest rivals, by a tepid combined scoreline of 7-1. You remember 2012, right? (Or have you drank the memories away?) That was possibly the worst year in the Rapids' existence. Lots of hype in preseason, the addition of a guy who was, at the time, probably the most hyped new signing ever for the team (Martin Rivero) and a new coach who promised to bring us some gosh darn sexy football.

What actually happened was a team that was out of the playoff race by August, who leaked 50 goals and who lost nearly every single game where they went behind at any point.

This season has been vastly different from 2012 for the most part, with a lot more points coming out and a long stint in the playoff spots for the burgundy and blue. Unfortunately, their recent slide, along with the fact that the team is clearly in need of some new blood on the depth chart at multiple positions, has Rapids fans pressing the panic button and predicting anything from a knee-scraping playoff miss to a complete tank. In 2012, such a tank ended up being a good idea, as they managed to snag Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers with two fairly high SuperDraft picks. That was then, and this is now, and here's why they can't afford to let that happen this time around:

The Rapids' 2015 first round pick was traded to the Portland Timbers last year in exchange for Danny Mwanga.

The worse the Rapids do in the regular season this year, the better off one of their closest competitors in the West is at next year's SuperDraft, a spot that has been getting better and better in terms of MLS-ready players over the years. The Rapids would have had a chance to get another Brown, Powers or Hairston, but instead they're going to have to settle for whatever Dallas' second first round pick is -- that's the one they got back from the Oscar Pareja fiasco.

Was the Danny Mwanga trade the single worst move the Rapids have made since *that trade* back in 2008? That's a discussion for another day. A more short-term note to make is that, as well as they can try, the Rapids cannot afford to watch this season slip away like 2012 did.