It originally started as a joke. After one of the many, many Rapids loses last season, I posted “I regret to inform you the Colorado Rapids are at it again” on Twitter and Facebook. It turned out to be a crowd pleaser. Now I throw it out a lot. A lot more than I want to. The Colorado Rapids are bad. Like, really bad. Controversial opinion, I know. Their roster this year is bad. The coaching is bad. As a result of all of this, the attendance is bad—even the 4th of July game didn’t sell out!
And honestly, this is kind of what I expected to see: a questionable coaching hire and a flood of new players that neither you nor I had ever heard of weren’t exactly the ingredients for an optimistic off-season. What I didn’t expect to see is the Rapids, in midseason, somehow making themselves worse. To wit, Joe Mason is headed back to Wolves.
I’m not going to claim that Joe Mason is a great player. He certainly won’t be getting much time with Wolves’ newly promoted EPL team next season. By the standards of MLS this year, he’s been middling at best. Atlanta United would have an excuse to send him home. But we’re not talking about the standards of MLS or Atlanta United. We’re talking about the Colorado Rapids.
Mason’s resume was unimpressive when the Rapids signed him: he had scored seven goals in 39 matches in the previous two seasons. In Colorado, he actually seemed to be getting some groove back. Three goals in 14 matches isn’t exactly John Spencer territory, but it was good for second place on the team and with a very impressive 21% shot conversion rate as well, easily the highest on the team counting players with more than five matches played.
Apparently, with Hudson and Smith needing a scapegoat for all this, they decided the most efficient player on the team had to go. The offense, and the fans, better get ready for even more Jack McBean. The excitement is palpable.
Losing Mason, though confusing and embarrassing on its own, is only half the real problem. Replacing him with Giles Barnes shows just how delusional this club’s front office has gotten. Mason had scored seven in 39 prior to coming over to Colorado. Barnes in that same stretch has scored five in 44 before signing with Club León in Mexico, where he failed to register a single appearance. Even during his best years with the Dynamo, he was scoring once every 3.5 games on average. This is at best replacing a player like for like, and at worst replacing a player with one that will be even less effective. Not ideal on a team with an offense more parched than a man stuck in the desert with a Gatorade bottle full of scorpions.
I don’t think anyone’s surprised here.
This is the same team that eschewed probably the only chance they’ll have at a CCL run this decade to “focus on the league”, with predictable dumpster fire results. They’re the team that traded their best midfielder and fullback last season for two players that were off the team by the end of the season. This is the team that decided a streaking team with the hottest defense and one of the worst offenses in the league needed a $2.5 million goalkeeper just so they could fill a few more seats for a few years (even that plan didn’t work, by the way). Rhyme and reason don’t seem to resonate in Commerce City.
I regret to inform you the Colorado Rapids are at it again, and at this point, it doesn’t look like they’re ever not going to be at it.
Anthony Hudson is a one-trick pony whose trick is from a six-year-old’s magic act. A man who says one thing in a press conference and does the opposite on the field. A man that’s more the next George Burley than the next Jose Mourinho. (Palace joke!) A man that clutches to “his guys” and will take his terrible signings on the field with him to his grave. A national team coach who never won outside of Oceana except against Oman.
That’s what we call a bad Oman.
Pádraig Smith is a man who masterminded a search across every continent in the world to find a manager and ended up stopping in Oceania. A man who legitimately said that “no man can be bigger than the team” while keeping a $2.5 million goalkeeper. A man who talked about how he uses Football Manager to scout while somehow never noticing that the Rapids team on FM is always trash.
And now those are the two men who have decided that the team’s most efficient striker and second-highest goal scorer was the right man to scapegoat for the team’s failures.
With these two at the helm, I may never have to write an original tweet again.