The Colorado Rapids concluded their 2018 CONCACAF Champions League run with a 0-0 tie at BMO Field in Toronto on Tuesday night. Combined with the 2-0 loss to Toronto last week in Commerce City, the Rapids were knocked out of the continental tournament in their first appearance in CCL play since 2011.
During this whole offseason, we have been looking towards Head Coach Anthony Hudson to give the club direction and hear what new ideas he might be bringing to the Rapids. We have listened intently to the discussion about formation changes. We have heard about the differences between a 3-5-2 and a 5-3-2, and although there are some lingering questions, many fans have chosen to put their faith in our new head coach to see how this new formation works.
There have also been TONS of new guys coming in and new blood can do nothing but help reinvigorate a team that really needs it.
So while there is always hope at the start of a new season, 2018 feels different for many of us: we have hope and optimism.
But to hear “This is preseason for us… if this is a preseason game for us, before we lead into our first game of the season, we’re very, very happy” after the draw last night felt like a smack in the face. We want to see the team play to win every game. We call it Bleeding Burgundy.
Some people out there will say, “I appreciate your honesty” or “we were playing the Champs so what kind of shot did we have,” but as we saw from national media comments last night, the Rapids are not taken seriously in MLS and the CCL tournament was our first real chance to show everyone the work that has been done in the offseason.
To be honest, few of us thought that we could realistically beat Toronto FC, but we have high expectations this year and taking CCL seriously could have given us a fresh start.
There is also a history of the Rapids organization not caring about anything other than the regular season, and as a season ticket holder for 11 years, I want to see some real change.
You play to win every competition you are in and you give your all for your team, whether it is the regular season, the Open Cup, or Champions League.
I am a long-time supporter of the Colorado Rapids and will be no matter what, but I really hope that this was worth it and we see a strong showing on March 10th against New England.