Those last ten minutes of the Quakes-Rapids game stoked me for the season ahead. I've been a powder keg waiting for the MLS season to start (and what a start the league had today). Ever since the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, yesterday couldn't get here quickly enough.
Before I proceed, full disclosure (something I do owe you as fans and readers of our Burgundy Beacon:
I do not have Altitude or Altitude 2 or Altitude 986. I could only get the last ten minutes of the game watching the show on ESPN where five guys are sitting on a couch tuning in to all the games and mumbling about what's happening--you know, right before ESPN2's coverage of the Portland Timbers and the Columbus Crew. They spent a good deal of time on our Colorado Rapids playing the San Jose Earthquakes.
And what I saw in those last ten minutes made me glad I renewed my season tickets for this year. Why?
- Marco Pappa. He came in for former University of Louisville star (Go Cards!) Marlon Hairston. You could tell his fitness was down, but he was a beast around goal. He had at least three close calls that missed by just inches to equalize. His tenacity is a welcomed sight. And was contagious!
- The pitch was tilted Colorado's way. It's the first game of the season, and it was away at San Jose. But my goodness, seeing how determined our boys were to equalize. That determination and skill will translate into goals. I don't remember seeing that with much frequency last year.
- Even MLSSoccer.com took note: From their website:
"NEW-LOOK RAPIDS SHOW SPARKS: They may have come away with the L, but Rapids fans will have a few reasons to be optimistic heading into next week’s home opener. Their five-man midfield bossed possession and the team was able to apply sustained, late pressure and generate some quality looks at goal. Former Quake Sam Cronin had a strong outing, and one of Colorado’s best chances of the second half, while new DP signing Shkelzen Gashi – who started on the left wing in Colorado’s 4-2-3-1 – showed some flashes of skill and creativity, but started to look gassed before his 67th-minute substitution."
I know I'm all in with the soccer bug and with the Rapids when I am encouraged by a 1-0 loss, but MLS Soccer praising our "five-man midfield [who] bossed possession" (to the tune of 58.3%) give this Rapids fan whose hindquarters will be firmly planted in the South Stands come this Saturday all the more excitement about the season. Our boys may well surprise some people.
Am I on target? Out of my South Stands mind? Let's hear it!