With the Colorado Rapids losing in spectacular fashion to the Los Angeles Galaxy last week I thought, "Wait! The Rapids have already hit rock bottom!" Losing the Captain Drew Moor was a huge blow to the playoff aspirations. Losing Jared Watts during the match last Wednesday was even worse for the Rapids. Colorado had a two goal lead and gave up three in the second half to fall to the Galaxy.
I've heard many things the Rapids should do to end the streak and avoid going 0-for-August. Change formation, change line-ups, change leadership. I don't think any of this will work. What the players need is a change in psychology. A change in their attitudes. A change in way they mentally prepare for the next match. Sure they lost their on-field leader. Sure they don't have much depth at any position. But the young, talented players need to step up and treat the last nine games as an audition for next year.
They have five road games left. All against the Western Conference. The tougher of the two this season. The young players need to know they are playing for their livelihoods. Making the playoffs is not impossible right now. With the parity in the MLS nobody is out of the playoff race except for Montreal. The Rapids have one game against competition currently below them in the standings. Colorado hosts San Jose September 27th. I know it's a month away but that is a must win game. Pretty much every game until October 28th the Rapids need to get results.
Losing Jared Watts should not be the reason the Rapids don't make the playoffs. Sending Danny Mwanga to the New York Cosmos on loan hopefully frees up enough money to get some depth for another defender to play out the regular season.
I wish there was other reasons for the Rapids to compete until the end of the season. Trying to extend your career as a professional athlete should be reason enough. Did the Rapids peak when they got revenge on Chivas USA during Pablo Mastroeni night? (3-0) Going forward this is the point that will endear the fans to the players. How the players respond to this adversity is what will make or break the front office and Pablo. Jeff Plush only got a two year grace period after winning a title. how long will Paul Bravo get? Maybe we can look to the Colorado Avalanche.
Pierre Lacroix has been the only head of operations the Avalanche have ever known. He has had many official titles, but generally he is the main guy. He had success early in his career. He has pulled the strings with two owners. Which is a feat. The Av's were lower than the Rapids have ever been between 2007-2011. The main people rode out the ugliness and now are sitting pretty. They built something again. The Rapids are right there. I believe that they can win. Again, Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) is a loyal company. Maybe that was an outlier in their organization because there have been countless GM's for the Nuggets. They had three at one time!
Nine games left to salvage the season. Two points out of the playoffs. If they just miss I'll consider it a disappointment. This team needs to earn my respect back with effort the rest of the season.