“They are who we thought they were,” said former NFL head coach Dennis Green after losing a large lead late to his opponent.
That sentiment could be also said by Rapids interim head coach Conor Casey after the Colorado Rapids (5W-12L-5T) lost to the San Jose Earthquakes (11-7-4) 3-1. The Quakes are not the easy “W” of recent years. And sadly, given the start the Rapids had in the first third of the season, they would need to play virtually perfect soccer to even sniff the playoffs.
But here we are. Here are some rapid fire takeaways that look back and look ahead:
- The Rapids are now 22 games into this season (meaning, only 12 games remain). They sit in dead last in the Western Conference, one point behind the equally struggling Vancouver Whitecaps at 20 points. They sit 11 points behind Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers (31 points). The Rapids are now playing for positioning and evaluating for next season.
- The nature of the roster is a reliance on (1) set pieces and (2) the counter. While possession can certainly be an overrated stat, the Rapids have been repeatedly getting creamed on possession. Granted, Jonathan Lewis on the left and Sam Nicholson on the right provide pace and more often than not, they make good decisions with the ball. And Andre Shinyashiki has an outstanding soccer IQ. If can get that weapon of maintaining possession along with our prowess at set pieces and countering, we can be a formidable team. That means signing a coach that is well-established in MLS and can develop a roster and strategy to play a variety of types of matches depending on the opponent.
- I am concerned about a recent tweet that is floating around that no significant offer has been made by the Rapids for defender Lalas Abubakar. While none of us are privy to particular numbers, one can imagine that the asking price from the Columbus Crew is going up, up, up! And maybe the Crew will price the Rapids out of contention. If so, pity. Abubakar’s arrival (along with Jonathan Lewis) propelled the Rapids off their tragic trajectory. Plus, if the Rapids are expecting Kortne Ford to return for 2020, will they see Abubakar as expendable? Is he worth whatever it costs to the Rapids?
There’s not much else to say at this point. The days ahead will show more of what the Rapids intend for 2020.
What were your takeaways from this past match?