Saturday night was Hispanic Heritage Night at Dick's Sporting Good Park. Announcements were made both in English and Spanish!
Yet, few had trouble understanding this: Vicente Sanchez is critically important to the success of this team. His energy, his reaction to the ball, his desire made the last 30 minutes of the Rapids game like a visit from a long-lost friend.
Granted, some of his crosses betrayed a bit of rust on his part, but he also elevated the play of everyone on the field, for the most part. Whereas Deshorn checks out on occasion (what a horrible play on that offsides that denied us a sure goal), and most others could maintain possession of the ball, Sanchez's presence on the pitch made a difference--and also shows us something else.
We've let some pieces go, and failed to implement others, for whatever reason.
- Atiba Harris stuck a dagger in the Rapids' faithful last night in the 94th minute;
- Marvin Chavez nailed us days after his trade to the Goats.
- The coaching staff sat our DP Gabriel Torres for reasons I do not understand, for he seems to contribute--and what did we have to lose given our two points in two months.
- Clint Irwin is now sitting, riding the pine behind Joe Nasco (solid game last night--though he got away with a lot of potential miscues) and John Berner--which is still somewhat of a mystery.
I could go on, but the point is (hopefully) made. Vicente Sanchez made a difference. And we see the importance of maintaining other pieces as well: Drew Moor, Jose Mari, Shane O'Neill, Dillon Powers and Marlon Hairston. More veteran pieces like Sanchez will do us well for 2015.
Pablo Mastroeni will remain for 2015--we already know that from the front office. He needs veteran pieces on his coaching staff as well.
Four games remain: Seattle (10/5 at 1:00 pm), at Chivas USA (10/11 at 8:30 pm MST), FC Dallas (10/18 at 1:00 pm), and at Vancouver (10/25 at 8:00 pm MST). I don't see the Rapids obtaining a lot of points, but they may surprise us. Let's end the season strong.
I changed my Twitter handle to @rapidssouthstds . Leave a comment in the comments section or on my Twitter page.