When it comes kicking off a tenure as manager of a club, Robin Fraser’s start with the Colorado Rapids could not have gone better. Going across the country to Harrison, NJ and winning 2-0 at Red Bull Arena is a significant achievement for sure.
Here are some takeaways from a great evening!
- As noted in the game recap, this is the first time the Colorado Rapids have won at Red Bull Arena.
- Goalkeeper Tim Howard came full circle in his MLS career, as he began with the New York MetroStars in 2000. How nice it was for him to have his last game in New Jersey be a clean sheet (his fourth of the year).
- Jonathan Lewis gets his first start since July 13th (and his first since returning from Gold Cup action) and certainly made the most of his opportunity by scoring a brace (14’, 87’). How providential he did this as a former member of the Red Bulls’ arch-rival New York City FC.
- When the lineup and formation came out an hour before kickoff, most Rapids supporters were astonished at the 3-5-2 (or 3-4-1-2, depending on your frame of reference). Having Diego Rubio and Jonathan Lewis up top; Sebastian Anderson, Cole Bassett, and Sammy Vines backing them up; and only three in the back—had a lot of fans wondering how it would go. But it seemed to work. I echo what Jordan Angeli said on the radio coverage (not verbatim) that each player seemed to run where the ball was going to be. They were in tune with each other.
- We should all be pleased with the hire of Robin Fraser. The Rapids needed a leader that knows the league and Fraser certainly has those credentials. Hopefully, the partnership between him and Padraig Smith will be a productive one. The Rapids clearly have some great pieces moving in 2020, but with the league changing and the (deserved) reputation of ownership, challenges abound!
- The Rapids host the Seattle Sounders this coming Saturday (7:00 pm, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park). Seattle is coming off a thriller this weekend, beating LA Galaxy 4-3. Seattle sits second in the Western Conference with 46 points so the Rapids have their work cut out for them. For what it’s worth, the Rapids cracked the 30-point barrier with their win.
- Think about something, ladies and gentlemen: After 11 games, the Rapids had zero wins and two points. In the last 16 games, the Rapids have accumulated 25 points. Sixteen games is almost half of an MLS season. If Colorado had started off at this pace, they would have finished the season with 52 points. All of Rapids nation should give Conor Casey his due and wish him well wherever he lands. He deserves a shot at managing.
What were your takeaways?