The attitude around Dick's Sporting Goods Park was palpable. We thought we'd see Luis Solignac and Kevin Doyle on the pitch for our Colorado Rapids. Given how sparse and scarce the goals have been, when all other aspects of the team have shown marked improvement, then the addition of these players made Rapids nation drool.
Call it wishful thinking, call it looking at Saturday night's game with burgundy-colored glasses, but I saw a different Rapids team. But as a Rapids fan, I found myself ancy with Solignac up top, so ready to get the ball but getting very little service to do anything--all part of getting into the flow of the Rapids offense. Pa-Modou Kah of the Caps did well in shadowing him and bringing a physicality his way that MLS is known for and that Europeans and South Americans take a while to get used to.
But I saw the difference in the attitude of the rest of the team. Whereas the previous game I saw a lot of dancing around the ball and a lot of tentativeness. Not Saturday. The first 10-12 minutes spent a lot of time between the 18s, but after that, I saw our Rapids becoming more aggressive, more sure of themselves.
Amazing what confidence can do. Confidence that brought about a goal from ... Lucas Pittanari? With a cheeky little flick from Gabriel Torres? You say, "Wait, neither Doyle nor Solignac were in the picture on that play." No, they weren't--but they were.
You could tell from the interviews of the players that they knew they had a solid team, but were just missing a couple of pieces. No, they didn't say that in public as starkly as all that, but still, you could hear it.
But what would have happened if that goal by Vancouver late in the game counted? What would we as Rapids fans have said? Would we have grown frustrated because even with the pieces, the same results occurred?
- "We're cursed!"
- "See, nothing helps!" "
- "These players aren't going to help!"
- (Insert any item from the Woe-R-Us store.)