Colorado Rapids fans are a resilient bunch. Of course, I do not know how resilient many of them were after the 5-1 debacle on Saturday against New York City FC. But since my Twitter descriptor says, "Rapids Reverend providing Rapids realism," this is where that has to kick in for me and for all of us.
The Rapids have thirteen games left. Here's where we stand.
- The Rapids lost for the first time in sixteen games.
- We still have three games in hand on FC Dallas.
- The Galaxy are now two points behind Colorado for 2nd place (thank you, Sounders!).
How Nervous Should Rapids Fans Be?
Interestingly enough, I almost wrote, "Should Rapids fans be nervous?" Then it occurred to me--Rapids fans are always nervous to a greater or lesser degree. But how nervous? The level of nervousness depends on what your expectations are of this team, which I would hope are the MLS Cup. Let's look at the varying degrees, and gauge the proper level of nervousness on a scale of 1-10.
If you expect them to win the MLS Cup? (8) The Rapids have a championship defense (especially when everyone who started out the season returns and once Tim Howard and the backline gel better), with a potentially very good offense. It's obvious from the eyeball test we need Jermaine Jones to bring back those fiery leadership intangibles.
We have twelve teams vying for the cup, with any of them catching fire at any time. From what I've read and heard about the Rapids 2010 run, they were not the best team all year, but made it to the playoffs and caught fire to the championship. It's a long season, gang. Even championship teams lay 5-1 eggs on their way. It shook them out of their slumber.
If you expect them to win the West? (7) FC Dallas isn't going anywhere. They now are six points clear (thanks a lot, Vancouver Whitecaps). The Rapids must make up ground with those three games they have in hand with 6-9 points to win the West.
Making the playoffs? (3) Some Rapids fans are now nervous about Colorado making the playoffs. If they insist. What I'm more concerned about is the Rapids team taking it for granted that their playoff ticket is already punched. This is where Mastroeni's coaching chops will be on display. He must keep the team motivated (and with FC Dallas ahead and the Galaxy and SKC nipping at their heels, that shouldn't be a problem).
As long as the defense is stout and (again) all the players on that backline get back in place, the playoffs are almost (almost) a certainty. I don't see any reason for significant worry.
The Question Is...
Are you nervous? Why? Let us know.