After the last few games, Rapids fans find themselves in an ecstatic—yet unfamiliar—place given the trajectory of the last year and a half. In the wake of our Colorado Rapids beat FC Cincinnati 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids under interim coach Conor Casey have gained some serious momentum that has some of us uttering a word that was removed from our burgundy lexicon: playoffs.
Let’s look at some takeaways:
- Ten in four. Rapids supporters are repeating this in their minds, under their breath, on social media—and possibly around a campfire screaming this for all the neighbors to hear: “The Rapids have earned ten points in the last four games.” Think about this. The previous coach moaned and groaned about the lack of talent on this team. They had two points in nine games. Now, with ten points in four games and momentum, many felt confirmed in saying, “Yes, we knew we had enough talent on the roster to do more than this.”
- Table Talk: A quick glance at the MLS table in the Western Conference shows that we are a mere seven points behind Real Salt Lake, who sit in the seventh and final playoff spot. This is astounding.
- Bonding together. Casey noted in his postgame interviews that the team has really bonded together and that’s beginning to show on the pitch. The reputation that had followed some players, like Kei Kamara being a locker room cancer, has proven to be untrue. Plus, hearing Casey praise the players and give them credit is refreshing and only adds to the great chemistry in the locker room. Not many teams would have this given the environment cultivated over the last year and a half.
- The “Shik” can straight up ball. Not only with the goal, but forward Andre Shinyashiki’s quickness, soccer IQ, and joy for the game make him a joy to watch. If he keeps this up, he will be in the conversation for Rookie of the Year. Man, are we ever glad he is in burgundy.
- Up next? The Loons. On Saturday, the Rapids host Minnesota United who are playing some very competitive soccer for the 2019 campaign. They are sixth in the Western Conference with 21 points (6W-6L-3D) with a 3W-5L-0D on the road. Former Rapid Eric Miller has been having a solid year helping hold down the back line. Here’s hoping the Rapids faithful welcome him warmly before the game and the Rapids players give him plenty of pressure during the match.
- Our next coach? The Rapids have played so well under Casey that many supporters do not want the chemistry and play affected by bringing in someone else. Reports have circulated that Toronto FC’s assistant coach Robin Fraser is a front-runner to become the next full-time manager for the Rapids. According to MLS, “Fraser, 52, previously served as head coach of Chivas USA for two seasons before they were dissolved in 2014. He also has assistant coaching stops at Real Salt Lake and New York Red Bulls, though he has been with TFC since 2015. Those various stops have included two MLS Cup titles (‘09 with RSL, ‘17 with TFC) and three Supporters’ Shields (‘10 with RSL, ‘13 with RBNY, ‘17 with TFC).” What do you think about Fraser as a possibility to helm the Rapids? Or would you like to see Casey stay on for the rest of the year?
What were some of your takeaways from Saturday’s match?