I watched the match on UniMas this past Friday night and saw one team with an identity, and another without. For RSL, they knew where the goals would come from. But that's enough talk about the team on the wrong side of the Rockies.
I have some questions that not only our fanbase, but I believe the Rapids need to answer in a hurry.
Where Have You Gone, Kevin Doyle?
I just cannot figure out the enigma wrapped in a mystery that is Kevin Doyle. I know the talent is there. He's not old enough to be on the downhill slide. He's proven he is competent. So why has he only nine goals in a year and a half, and five on the season? Lack of service? A case could be made. A problem with him being on an island up top? Possibly. I just don't know. Seriously. I'm not even going to pretend I understand it.
What I do know is that he was all but absent. Yes, I saw him in the starting XI. But that felt like the last time I heard of him in any significant way. What is happening with Kevin Doyle?
Is Marlon Hairston Injured?
Maybe I just don't know where to look, but I feel as if any injury information I receive from the Rapids comes from those in the know on Twitter. The consensus was that he was injured. Where did they cull this information? Do I need to look elsewhere besides the Rapids website? All I know is that Marco Pappa filled in for him. I missed Hairston's pace. He always seems to have a nose for goal and will soon score in buckets.
What Is This Team's Identity?
Our main competition in the West (FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake) have an identity. Our identity is a stout defense (although we could have easily lost 5-1 again, but thanks to that goalkeeper the Rapids obtained... oh what's his name? ... we stayed in the match) and an opportunistic offense. I haven't tracked, but I do wonder how many goals we have based on capitalizing on the opponents' mistakes over and against those in the regular run of play. We may be doing fine—but it doesn't feel that way.
We've markedly improved our offense. All this could simply betray my concern over the last three games, and four out of five. New York City FC, LA Galaxy, Orlando City SC, and now Real Salt Lake—are the Rapids tightening up? Is the pressure getting to them? Are they just letting down? Has the absence of Jermaine Jones played with their psyche?
Questions, questions, questions! This has been a fantastic season thus far. And MLS seasons are long. We have nine games to play (as opposed to FCD and RSL who only have seven games).
And frankly, I just don't want to see any planes come out at the end of the season wanting someone out. Rapids, please play well so that plane stays in the hangar.
Sound off, Rapids fans! You're the best around. Help answer some of these questions!