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Home Stretch Takeaways: The Rapids have 8 games to finish strong

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Fresh off a win against the USL Tulsa Roughnecks in a Memphis friendly, the Rapids need to finish strong to give hope for 2019.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids, fresh off a 3-2 win against the Tulsa Roughnecks of the USL in a Memphis friendly, are now coming down the home stretch for the 2018 season that has been nothing short of disappointing. Here are some takeaways as we approach the final portion of the season:

  1. Let’s set the table with an obvious fact: The Rapids are 6-14-6, and thanks to San Jose Earthquakes, are not in last place in the Western Conference. But now, San Jose is creeping closer and is only four points behind. Can the Rapids stay above the cellar in the West? They have a difficult stretch to end the season.
  2. Eight games left. The last MLS game the Rapids played was against Rocky Mountain Cup archrival Real Salt Lake, where they finished with only nine men and lost 6-0. Even with this loss, the Rapids are 2-2-1 in the last five games (eight points in five games, a respectable amount, mind you). The upcoming teams are: at Portland (which Colin will cover soon here), home vs. Atlanta United, at Columbus, at Seattle, home vs. LAFC, at Minnesota, at San Jose, and the last game is home against conference rivals FC Dallas. Portland stands at 3rd in the West, Atlanta 2nd in the east, Columbus 4th in the East, Seattle 5th in the West, Minnesota 9th in the West, San Jose last in the West, and FC Dallas sitting atop the West. No cupcakes here. And few see the Rapids gaining all 24 points.
  3. The team should also look at the future of Anthony Hudson in these last eight games. While few would wish anyone to lose their job, one wonders if this is a good fit. The #HudsonOut hashtags are growing more numerous, and while our beloved Rapids supporters have had little overall to cheer for in the last seven seasons or so (2016 notwithstanding), and while we need to remember than Anthony Hudson is an actual human being rather than a pawn on our proverbial chessboard, one hopes that the evaluation of talent and the actual strategies put in place will be under scrutiny for 2019. Many have grown weary of looking forward to the offseason by July.
  4. Attendance: the Rapids have three home games left: 9/15 against Atlanta United FC, 10/6 against LAFC, and 10/28 against FC Dallas. All three of these teams have had tremendous 2018 campaigns. I hope supporters will still come out for the matches, even though the odds will strongly favor the other teams. This is something to keep our eye on.

Realistically speaking, how many points do you see the Rapids procuring in this final stretch?