So, what do Colorado Rapids' fans and writers do when the Rapids have a bye week in the second week of the season with very little to go on as far as their quality of play? Look at how their previous opponent played against an archrival, and how their upcoming opponent played.
The Rapids' previous opponent (the Philadelphia Union) beat Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto (I don't care what the official score line says, that was not a penalty), scoring three goals against Nick Rimando.
So they went on the road and scored three against one of the best goalkeepers in MLS history--but failed to score a goal at home against the Rapids' defense. The takeaway?
Probably nothing at all.
But I certainly grew more encouraged about our defense--our defense against our upcoming opponent, New York City FC. I confess, watching the game between NYCFC and the New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium was pretty surreal. What an atmosphere! Sure, time will tell if that attendance and atmosphere will sustain (the same question remains for Orlando City SC), but for that day--wow! That was a great watch! Here's hoping our Rapids Rowdies come out en force for our home opener. I know we'll be there in the South Stands.
But NYCFC aren't playing at "awesome home-pitch advantage" Yankee Stadium. They have to fly 2000 miles west to play in our home field advantage--Dick's Sporting Good's Park and that altitude. As plenty of our writers have astutely noted, NYCFC's defense is suspect. Granted, Mix Diskerud and David Villa are the real deal, but, again, I cannot wait to see how our defense stacks up.
Now, about NYCFC's defense. New England (with a better offense that ours, coming off an MLS Cup run) had plenty of opportunities. Plenty! In fact, it's not unreasonable that if their shots were just a few inches in the right direction, they could have been up 3-1 by the half. If our offense gets their act together, if Badji will get on target, if Vicente is Vicente and not whoever that imposter was in Philly--if, if, if--then we may pull off the upset!
And hey! If Burnley can beat Manchester City, anything's possible!
Thankfully, it's a long season. But also, thankfully, the home opener is coming up. Stay with the Burgundy Wave all week to get yourself ready for Saturday! I'll see you in the South Stands!