Colorado Rapids supporters (as usual) are of two minds when reviewing the season opener. In case you haven’t heard, the Colorado Rapids opened the season with a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA—a match that ultimately didn’t get the result they deserved.
Judging from Twitter and other Rapids’ discussion boards, one would have thought that the Rapids lost 10-0. But with 11 shots on goal (5 on target), the Rapids created more chances than the average match from 2017. The Rapids only had 107 total shots on goal in 2017 (divided by 34 games, that’s just over three shots on goal per game).
The Good: Niki Jackson
Anthony Hudson used a substitution brilliantly in the 65th minute when he replaced Jack McBean with Niki Jackson, who equalized just one minute in off a beautiful ball from Johan Blomberg. Whether Blomberg can deliver crosses in like that week in and week out remains to be seen, but he showed potential in spotting a streaking Jackson far post to tie it up at one-all.
Given the problems that the Rapids have had in finding finishers around goal, any type of spark in that area should give supporters serious hope. Granted, it was one shot and one goal, but if Jackson can show pace and the ability finish, he may prove to be a great partner to Dominique Badji who is certainly feeling the pressure of being the goalscorer on a team starved for goals. If Jackson gains more confidence and begins starting over McBean (who had zero shots on target), the Rapids could be in business. (I wish I knew more about Joe Mason to add to this—let us know what you think about his potential to help the Rapids attack.)
Yes, Jackson’s day was marred by the foul just outside the 18-yard-box which gave the Revs’ Chris Tierney an opportunity to bring three points home. At least Jackson gave the Rapids hope for a result. Here’s hoping for more to come.
The not-so-good: That penalty kick
If Major League Baseball can employ the designated hitter in the American League, can Major League Soccer please allow teams to use a designated penalty taker? The absence of Kevin Doyle and Shkelzen Gashi have left Anthony Hudson with a search on his hands. Yes, Jack Price had a troublesome debut, especially on that PK and the subsequent putback (and to be fair, turf can be tough), but someone needs to step up. If the Rapids have free shots on goal, then they cannot lose those opportunities, especially on the road.
It’s one game out of 34, with a new coach, new philosophy, new players, and on the road on a turf pitch. Some of you saw some positives, some of you saw more negatives.
I wish the Rapids were playing this coming weekend. Going into a home match against Sporting Kansas City on the 24th, a team who will have already played three MLS matches to the Rapids’ one, this team needs every opportunity possible to gel as a team and obtain results.
Thirty-three to go!