Can I say it again:
Look, I totally get that this was pre-season. And in the scheme of things it does not mean a whole lot. So we lost a pre-season game. Big deal. But it was a game where a trophy was on the line for our Colorado Rapids. Against Real Salt Lake. And we were up a man for 40 minutes.
Up. A. Man.
Regardless of the results, here are my thoughts from this match:
Physical Prowess: In 2014, the Rapids were not the toughest of teams. Pretty much you could run right up the spine of the defense and score on this team. This has changed in 2015. The Rapids made a couple of moves to increase the "destroyer" mentality that was lacking in 2014 and in the match tonight this was on full display. Both Bobby Burling and Axel Sjoberg were very physical in the middle of the pitch and were able to stand up to the nature of the RSL attack. Yes, the Rapids lost, but they were not going to be the pushed around as they were last year. This should serve them well as the 2015 season progresses.
Rivalry Intensity: Again, this had everything that you would want in a regular season match, but with the same painful result. Yes, the Rapids won the Rocky Mountain Cup in 2013, but for the most part Real Salt Lake has owned us in the last seven or so years. This game had everything that you could ask for, with the exception of a Rapids win. So the question needs to be asked: Are the Rapids any closer to beating their Rocky Mountain Rivals? I think so, but they need to find that mentality to do so. They were up a man for a large portion of this match and could do nothing with it. They need to get over this to defeat teams like RSL
Pablo, my Pablo: Oh Pablo. I so do want to follow you. I want to follow you to the ends of the Earth. Oh Pablo, I believe in you Pablo. But Pablo, why do you bring on a defensive midfielder when we need a goal. Oh Pablo, why do you wait to bring guys forward. Oh Pablo, have you not learned from 2014? When you are down a goal and in need of that equalizer you cannot possibly think that a D-Mid is going to be the answer. Sigh Pablo. Please let us believe in you.
And so the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup and the pre-season ends for the Rapids. They ended it with a 2-2-2 record and gear up for a Saturday date in Philadelphia. The season is full of optimism and hope...and it is time for this team to deliver.