As I said on Monday, this season has served as an ice pick in the eye for Colorado Rapids supporters. We've been mired in a burgundy slough of despond (read Pilgrim's Progress for that analogy). In what way could this season be salvaged?
Beating, tying or holding Real Salt Lake to a one goal win, and winning the Rocky Mountain Cup. RSL has nine points in the last five games, with the last win being 3-0 over the LA Galaxy on September 19.
This is all I request: put your very best starting XI out on the pitch, get an attacking strategy together, and fire away! Now, you would think that this is a no-brainer, but all of us have pondered the player selections that Pablo Mastroeni has made over the last 18 months. But I'm telling the Front Office and the coaching staff this: if you don't put together a solid, attacking gameplan, not only will you miss the opportunity to salvage some semblance of this season, you'll lose an opportunity to grab the fanbase by the scruff of the neck and tell us, "See? We come out to win, not to 'not lose.'"
This fanbase in general and the supporters in particular (and there is a significant difference between the two) are clamoring and clawing for any reason to stick with the team this year--and in the years to come. I would have to agree with one of the comments of a recent article I wrote regarding Pablo staying and how we need to deal with it (and no, I'm not referring to the one where someone thought I was on drugs when they read it*). RichtheEagle rightly noted:
The problem here is that unless you are under drinking age, you weren’t born a Rapids fan. It wasn’t handed down to us like a lot of teams do as the Rapids have only been in existence since 1996. Therefore it is easier to ‘live with it’ by simply walking away from this team & that’s the worry here.
He's right. We have a truckload of other options. If the Rapids struggle, I always have Arsenal, Everton, Wolfsburg, Louisville City FC, the Switchbacks, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. But seeing a dogged desire to destroy and humiliate RSL and bring the Rocky Mountain Cup back where it belongs in Colorado. We need to see it! We must see it! We want to see the Rapids want to win and, again, not to not lose.
I go so far as to say this. Even if we lose against Sporting Kansas City, Montreal Impact, and Whoever Else FC, if this Rapids fandom sees this team leave it all out on the field, concentrate in all aspects of the game, and get fired up as if this is the only game that ever mattered in the history of things that mattered, I'd be OK with them dropping the last three. This is about silverware. Pride. It's about the Colorado Rapids badge!
Is it Sunday yet? Let's do this!