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#MTLvCOL Takeaways: Something has to change for the Rapids—immediately

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There’s no two ways about it—something has to change to put this team, the players, and the supporters in a place to succeed.

Tommy Smith hearing boos from C38
John Babiak - @photog_johnb

Something has to change—immediately—if this team is to salvage any portion of 2018.

The Colorado Rapids lost to the Montreal Impact 2-1 this past Saturday, starting the second half of the Rapids season off in an inauspicious way. From the moment the lineup and the formation was released an hour before gametime, we could see the plan was to play for a 0-0 tie or to hope to generate some offense on the counterattack.

With the three game non-losing streak against struggling teams such as the Chicago Fire, Minnesota United, and Vancouver Whitecaps (adding seven points to a paltry total to that point), hope sprung eternal (at least that’s what I wrote last week, but should have said, “Hope sprung for two days”). Seattle weren’t worldburners either, but they possess enough talent to give any team trouble. Montreal had gone 400+ minutes without allowing a goal until Dominique Badji broke that streak in the 79th minute on Saturday.

Burgundy Nation moved from hope at the beginning of the year to anger in the first third to now into the ever-so-concerning apathy stage—not caring, not willing to put themselves into a position of pain and agony. Apathy protects those who are afraid to care.

  1. Rapids supporters scratched their heads when the starting lineup came out. Upon seeing the 5-4-1, our collective jaws and hearts dropped. “They are playing for a 0-0 draw.” I understand, to a degree. Call this an excuse, or call it logistical nightmares, but the Rapids had travel issues coming from Vancouver to Denver, then from Denver to Montreal (welcome to MLS!). A lot of travel, a lot of routine thrown off—most of us would understand. What I don’t believe Rapids fans understand is the last three games, a 5-4-1 park the bus, ten guys behind the ball, praying to God for a counter type of tactic.
  2. Burgundy Nation also scratched their collective head at seeing many players playing in different positions. Johan Blomberg on the wing? Nana Boateng on the wing? Danny Wilson as a holding defensive midfielder? Yannick Boli as a lone striker on the island. It doesn’t take a lifelong soccer aficionado to see the plethora of the proverbial square pegs in the metaphorical round holes that make up this team. They are growing more and more frustrated as they aren’t being put in a position to win, and this is on ...
  3. The coaching. I am not a fan of calling on someone to lose their job, so sorry gang, no #HudsonOut coming from here. We* can speculate until the cows crow about whether Anthony Hudson is in over his head and question his leadership and decision-making and... and ... and.... What we can say is this: the Rapids are not devoid of talent. Yet, the better leaders are ones who get the most out of what they have. What we are seeing is a getting the least out of what we have. If a coach plays players out of position, or puts a tactic out that screams to everyone, “Let’s play 0-0 and get out of here,” would that inspire much confidence? It’s about putting people in a position to succeed, evaluating talent coming in and the capabilities of those already on the roster to that end. If Hudson has not lost the locker room already, he will soon. It breaks my heart to say this, because I really want him to succeed.
  4. Mental errors. Two games in a row, our illustrious goalkeeper, Tim Howard, sent a ball in the middle of the pitch 20-25 years away that led to goals. At times, Howard has been stout in goal, getting us out of jam after jam after jam. But it’s not just Howard. Too often, our boys in burgundy cannot hold on to the ball or connect. Their confidence is basement-level low. They are getting chippy not just with the opponents, but with each other now.
  5. But, but, but—weren’t you the guy that wrote an article about hope springing eternal? Seven points in three matches? Chalk this up to one Rapids supporter trying to find anything—anything—positive on which to grasp. And I’ll keep doing this. The Colorado Rapids will always be my club—and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

Some fans are angry, some are sad, some have lost that lovin’ feeling. But losing a supporter base and losing a locker room are just symptoms of what we fear is another season lost.

Something has to change! For you, what’s the first thing that has to change?