I know I said preseason doesn’t matter that much, but I’m already tired of writing about the Colorado Rapids losing (I’m still recovering from writing recaps from last season). This time, it was a 2-0 loss to Toronto FC in Chula Vista. In their three preseason matches so far, the Rapids have beat a USL2 team and lost to two MLS teams.
MLS put together a short recap of the 75-minute match vs. TFC, but there isn’t really much to take from it beyond the Reds jumped ahead early and then scored their second in the 50th minute.
After the match, Head Coach Anthony Hudson said: “We came into this hoping we’d be a little bit fresher, but we pushed the players yesterday. It wasn’t your normal prematch session but I think we grew into the game. The first half was not good for us, the second half was a lot better. We made some good chances and I think we should have had a goal or two in the second half. All in all it’s another 75 minutes now for players... it’s now just getting everyone prepared for the weekend.”
I have to say, this sounds awfully familiar to what we heard last year—part of the game wasn’t good, part of it was better, we had some chances, we should’ve scored, we need to do better, we can’t dwell on it, we need to look forward to the next game...
And that makes me really nervous.
After last season, Coach Hudson hasn’t built up a ton of trust with fans, so I think many of us are probably heading into this season a little (or a lot) skeptical about his coaching skills, and nothing about this preseason is making that any better so far. Padraig Smith did his job this offseason and brought in players that can make a difference, so now it’s on Hudson to do something with them.
As has been discussed in the comments of other articles, we’re also seeing some odd lineup choices, which was an issue last season. I’ve tried really hard to not read into things in preseason because it’s the time to experiment, but also? By the third game and just over two weeks before the regular season starts, I’d like to start seeing some things working. And maybe they are—it’s so hard to tell what’s going on without seeing it for yourself—but some things are potentially concerning:
- Why is Dillon Serna at LB when Deklan Wynne hasn’t played at all and isn’t on the injury list? (Wynne has to be injured, right?)
- Why put Keegan Rosenberry at CB at all when he was obviously brought in to be a RB?
- We haven’t scored a single goal against an MLS team. If scoring wasn’t such a blatant issue for the Rapids, it might not be a big deal, but are we just going to get shut out every time Kei Kamara isn’t on the pitch?
- Andre Rawls has seen a half in goal, but why hasn’t Clint Irwin gotten to play at all? Maybe the team is still evaluating Rawls, but if preseason is really all about seeing what works and getting the guys playing time together, shouldn’t Irwin maybe get some time, too?
None of the games have been streamed, so I’ll be curious to hear what people think after the match against the Las Vegas Lights FC this weekend, which is the first preseason game open to the public.
Given that we haven’t been able to see any of the matches so far, is it time to worry or should we just write preseason off as a time to experiment before the regular season starts?