Cinco de Mayo could be the most important game of the year - a game that will make or break the remainder of the Colorado Rapids’ season. A win with goals from our major attacking pieces (especially 2-0 or 3-0), some big Tim Howard saves, and a renewed swagger is exactly what this team needs going into the home-heavy part of the season. For some, another loss (especially at home) will spell the end of the year and all hope will be lost.
Now, I realized this sounds grim and like I have given up on this team if they do lose, but that is far from the case. This team is trending in a scary direction, and if they continue on this path into the basement of the league, Colorado will be seen as a lower end club again and selling casual fans with the product on the field will not be enough. If the Rapids do not get a positive result in this game, suddenly we will be looking to remake the magic of the Seattle Sounders's 2016 season (suck the first half, fire head coach, sign mid-field stud, win MLS cup without putting up any shots).
I am sadden by the downward trend when the start of the year had so much promise and excitement. The coaching staff had figured out how to win last year and the Front Office signed Bismark Adjei-Boateng, potentially the missing cog in our attacking machine. The talk was about how the identity of the team was to focus more on attacking while holding firm with our defense. But, injuries to Axel Sjoberg, Shkëlzen Gashi, and Nana threw a wrench into that plan. Then after trading Marc Burch and Sam Cronin, Padraig Smith said “he said the club hopes to do something before the transfer window closes May 8, but could strike a deal during the summer window that opens July 10 when European teams are in their offseason.” The 8th of May is closing in quickly.
But all of that can change. Losing five in a row could put a damper on even the most optimistic among us. With a win, especially an entertaining win, a little hope could be restored. Add the summer transfer window opening and a move being made to bolster the attack, and the buzz that was around this team before the year started is back!
The eternal optimist that I am will insist that the Rapids are going to be 2017 MLS Cup Champions. Eight of the next 11 games are at home. The team is bruised and broken, but is slowly but surely getting healthier. With a win this week, the unbeaten run at home can revive itself, momentum will build, AND THE RAPIDS WILL WIN THE CUP!
This season is far far from over. This team is better than throwing in the towel only seven games into the season. I, like most fans, will be at every game screaming no matter what. But I would like to be screaming for my team, for goals, and for Tim Howard saves - not for somebody’s job.
LET’S GO PIDS!