Instead of doing our typical mid-season awards, I (Abbie) asked everyone on the Burgundy Wave staff to write their thoughts on this question:
Do the Colorado Rapids still have a chance (realistic or otherwise) of making the playoffs or are we just looking towards 2018 at this point? If they do still have a chance, what needs to happen? If you think they’re out, what needs to happen for 2018?
No (as predicted by yours truly at the start of the season). The Rapids have made zero meaningful moves (at this point) that lead me to believe that they can make a legitimate run at the postseason this year.
As for 2018: With an "in flux" front office right now I am curious to see if they completely clean house and get rid of PM, or will they leave him in place. And will the Rapids finally decide what their identity is? That, to me, is the biggest thing that needs to answered this off-season. As for personnel moves....this depends on their identity. If you are a defense first team, you don't need players like Gashi or Doyle. If you are going to be more of an offensive teams, finding a true #10 should be the first priority.
I would say due to the Rapids’ road form, there is no way the team will make the playoffs in 2017 unless they completely turn things around away from home.
The Rapids still have a chance, but it's pretty slim. With the team only five points back from 6th place, it just takes a hot streak, coupled with the continued bungling of the other teams in the Western Conference. The defense needs to rebound, with Axel Sjoberg staying healthy the rest of the way. The mystical rumored mid-season transfer needs to show up and fit in right away.
They need to start winning, and especially on the road. And most of the remaining games are on the road. Their next four opponents are Toronto (A), San Jose (A), Vancouver (H), and FC Dallas (A). If they win three of those, that'll keep hope alive. If they lose three of them, then the season is effectively over.
The Rapids have been frustrating to say the least, but I am an eternal optimist and even in the darkest hour, there is always a little light. Our light is the fact that the West sucks, and it will only take nine points to overtake the 4th place team. It may seem crazy to people on the outside, but the Rapids will still make playoffs. They will finish as the 4th place team, and in addition to this stone cold guarantee I give you this crazy hot take - Kei Kamara will be traded to the Rapids and score a goal in the final!
With the Rapids being in the awful Western Conference, it's possible, but not likely. Until the defensive lapses decrease and the offense gets healthy, the only hope the Rapids have is for those ahead of them in the standings free fall.
Plus, the Rapids are abysmal away from DSGP - an Oh-fer. They have zero chance unless they get some (any!) result on the road. That's the difference. If they just drew in a couple of those away matches, then my answer would be different. As it stands from the South Stands, no!
I think it’s possible, but still a long shot. The Western Conference is SO BAD this year, and that’s the only reason the Rapids have a chance. We’re a win (ONE WIN) away from the playoff line, and the teams above us (LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, and Vancouver Whitecaps) have been less-than-impressive this season, too. I believe that injuries have been a key issue this season, so if we can just get the A squad healthy, fine-tune the 4-4-2, and maybe bring in a true #10, I think the Rapids can turn things around. They need to keep winning at home and start getting decisions on the road (which isn’t going to be easy with the upcoming schedule). But this is MLS so anything can happen, right, so why not?
Regardless of what happens this year, we desperately need to pick up a true #10 in the summer or the offseason, or we’ll be sitting in this same spot in 2018.