After three years of being a season ticket holder for our beloved Colorado Rapids, this is the first time that the schedule of life and vacation and ministry opened up to permit my attendance to a Rocky Mountain Cup game. And they won. So...
You're welcome, Rapid Nation.
Seriously, their 1-0 home win against the Real Rio Tintos, aka Real Sandy, aka Real Salt Lake was a thing of beauty on a number of fronts, both on the pitch and in the stands.
The Rapids pass the eyeball test in working as a unit. The goal that Jermaine Jones scored was set up by a beautiful lead-up. The replay on the MLS site did not show the previous two passes, but from our view from the south stands, we could see right up the west sideline. The spacing, the passing, the intuition of Mekeil Williams, Kevin Doyle, and Jermaine Jones all put on display a veteran instinct that was absent last year.
On defense, the Rapids hung together with that furious final fifteen. Zac MacMath (of whom we shall discuss later) played easily his best game of the year (and possibly career, but I didn't watch all of MacMath's fixtures with the Philadelphia Union). Not everyone had their best game: Axel Sjoberg had his moments of poor clearances, but the cohesiveness of the back line was a joy to watch.
Thank You, 108 and 117!
Full confession: I was embarrassed that the visiting RSL fans 'outnoised' the noise made from what for the most part seemed like Dick's Sporting Goods Cathedral. But then 108 and 117 kicked in. Then, lo and behold, we heard and joined in to participate in that glorious and simple chant of "Ra-pids! Ra-pids!"--which showed up beautifully and clearly over the air.
For those who wish we were more like a Liga MX or European atmosphere at DSGP, give it time. Yes, the Rapids are in their 21st season, but we are building a fan base. Many come to watch a one-off soccer match. The more the Rapids win, the more fans the team will accrue. The Front Office knows this (they had to).
... and That Tifo!
Best ever tifo & pregame message from @C38sg & @ColoradoRapids fans last night...great 3 points!!!#KEEPFIGHTING pic.twitter.com/NAWzx3k10q— Steve Cooke (@stevecookeworld) May 8, 2016
Agreed! Simple and effective and one that didn't take a lot of time to figure out the plot! More, please! That was a work of art!
The Zac Attack
MacMath rose to the occasion when it mattered. His last performance against the Real Rio Tinto could have left him with a bitter taste in his mouth they could have adversely affected his performance. Instead, as I said before, he turned in the best performance of his Colorado Rapids career. He came away with a clean sheet against a very good team comma and look strong and focused the whole time.
We must not underestimate the pressure on him due to the circumstances surrounding him and his future, but as our burgundy wave boss rightly said, he's handled it without complaint and like a true professional. I believe with more games like this one, his confidence will skyrocket. I know The Timmy is on his way, but I do hope MacMath can hang with the club as a fantastic insurance policy between the sticks--but I believe he will move on to another team that will give him a chance to start. But he needs to build on this! Keep working, Zac! We're behind you!
What Were Your Takeaways?
Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section! Any talk about soccer is good talk!