There is one undisputed fact about my beloved Colorado Rapids:
They put me on an emotional roller coaster after each win, loss or draw. I am extremely bummed when we lose and absolutely elated when we win. I guess that does, in fact, make me a sports fan.
And being a fan I want to express my emotions and thoughts about this team as succinctly and honestly as I can, so I will get this out right now:
No, the sky is not falling in Commerce City.
It is not time to panic.
So as I sat down to write my weekly The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly column for Burgundy Wave I wanted to absolutely rip into the club for this 0-1-3 start. And then I took a moment and started to think about things a bit more and realized that I was being irrational.
So no, I do not believe that Tim Hinchey, Paul Bravo or Pablo Mastroeni need to lose their jobs. To do so would be foolish. Do they all need to be held accountable for this start and the current 0-13-5 run? Yes. But not once have I heard any of them shy away from what is going on. Would I like them to come out and say, "we are going to fix this?" Sure. But would it matter?
Hell no. What matters is results and play on the pitch. I do not want lip service. I do not want someone kissing my ass to make me feel good about myself and my team.
All I want is for this team to score goals and to win.
And as I have said, the sky is not falling.
This team is in a tough run and is struggling in finishing. Gabriel Torres, Marc Burch, Dominique Badji, Dillon Powers, Juan Ramirez and Marcelo Sarvas all had looks at goal on Saturday. Good looks. They were just unable to put it in.
Am I frustrated, you bet your ass. But I bet not as frustrated as those Lads and this team.
On Tuesday, we had a great article by our very own The Rapids Rabbi about how unlucky we are. And you know what, we are unlucky. We hit the post three times. We generated 17 chances on goal. It just is not happening for us.
But you know what, the sky is not falling.
What has to happen to right this ship (in my opinion of course):
1) The formation: I have been thinking about this a bit and I have come to this conclusion (of course, this is my conclusion)--drop the 4-2-3-1 and go with a 4-4-1-1. I believe that this formation would have more success in attack and would really use Powers where he should be used: as a central attacking midfielder. Stop putting the guy on the wing. He needs to be in the middle creating for Torres.
2) The lineup: If you go with a 4-4-1-1, I would suggest this:
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3) Get A Goal On Friday, Even If You Lose: I think that FC Dallas is not as good as their start would have people believe. They played to a 0-0 draw against Seattle Sounders where the did not generate a shot on goal, and then they lost at Portland 3-1. There is a chance here for the Rapids, but it all starts with a goal. Grab a goal. Let it be the ugliest goal in the history of professional soccer. I DO NOT CARE. Get one, even if you lose. A goal will change the fortunes of this team. I am sure of it. Before anyone calls me out on this, no, I do not have any statistical evidence to support this. Call it a gut feeling.
4) Flexibility And Willingness To Change: A great tweet from this weekend--
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This is where you need to adjust and do something diff if your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Col?src=hash">#Col</a> , pull a back and put in an extra attacker , something <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COLvNE?src=hash">#COLvNE</a></p>— David Dir (@BigDfutbol) <a href="https://twitter.com/BigDfutbol/status/584515672970956801">April 5, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
My biggest gripe with Mastroeni this year is his inability to be flexible and adapt to game conditions. If you need to put on an extra attacker then DO IT. Don't sit their on your butt and hope it will all be fine. Don't tell supporters that "we are really close." We do not want to hear that. Show you can coach and change as the game dictates. Things got exciting when we switched to a 4-4-2 on Saturday. May that be a lesson in Dallas on Friday. (and yes, I know Mastroeni is suspended for Friday)
So I think there is hope for the Rapids. They have three points out of four matches, have given up one goal during the run of play, have a stout defense (NE really only had one good look all night and it was a spectacular finish), and have players who can play. It is time for this team to show their true colors. Because the Sky Is Not Falling in Commerce City.
But, it is getting slightly cloudy.