I'm almost glad I'm assigned to write on Mondays rather than immediately after games such as the one on Friday night. All of us had such high hopes after Jose Mari's killer curve around Nick Rimando. Then those hopes were dashed by four quick goals (mercifully only one in the 2nd half), two bobbled handles and an own goal by GK Joe Nasco (a shame--he's a class guy). As for the aforementioned Rimando, I almost wanted to give him a chair and something to drink in the second half--he didn't have to work hard at all.
I was feeling pretty good heading into the game. MLS generated some buzz about their new logo for 2015 (technically, late 2014 when New York City FC and Orlando City FC come on the scene). The buzz was positive and negative, but as far as I'm concerned, any talk about MLS is good talk. Those good feelings carried me into the Rapids game. I even felt that some of the season would be salvaged if our boys showed up and gave heart--not won or even left Rio Tinto with points, but just showed up.
The second half had me going back and forth between the Rapids game and Ken Burns' The Roosevelts documentary on PBS--by choice (certifiable documentary junkie here).
I'm not in a position to call for anything to happen. This I do know:
- Pablo Mastroeni needs another year. He was put almost in a position to fail. Pareja left--and we just need to get over his leaving--and Mastroeni was given the reigns. I believe he has great potential, but he needs time to help select and develop his players over an entire off-season.
- The Colorado Rapids need to determine their identity. The reason that even the Galaxy, the Sounders, Sporting KC, and Real Salt Lake have gained such a following nationally, not just locally, is that their front office determined their 'way' (the SKC Way, the Galaxy Way, etc.). They have an abiding, guiding philosophy that moves them forward. I believe that the Rapids have that, but they need to not only articulate that to their staff and fans, but to execute it in a deliberate way. That will help all involved get through seasons like this.
- The best thing that could happen to us is for us not to make the playoffs. For a significant change of direction and an establishment of identity, all involved needed to see that the direction we're going is not working.
This is not the time to give up. It takes time build a winner--and even a direction. We can't lean on excuses of our position in the Denver sports market, our salary payments, injuries, or anything else. It's always darkest before the dawn. The talent is there. The momentum nor the heart are there.
But let's get behind our boys the last three home games (SJE 9/27 at 7 pm; Seattle 10/5 at 1 pm; and FC Dallas 10/18 at 1 pm).
See you there in the South Stands!