New Colorado Rapids’ coach Robin Fraser upped his record to 2-0-0 with a 2-0 home win Saturday against a depleted Seattle Sounders club. While this certainly did Seattle no favors in their quest for the Supporters’ Shield (it actually knocked them out of the running), this match did wonders for the boys in burgundy as they continue their solid run of form.
Here are some takeaways:
Shinyashiki for Rookie of the Year?
The continued performance by Rapids forward Andre Shinyashiki should put him in serious running for 2019 MLS Rookie of the Year. So says the incomparable Richard Fleming, Marcelo Balboa, and Last Word on Soccer’s Matt Pollard. With seven goals and two assists, he’s definitely in the conversation.
Pollard tweeted a nice thread soon after the match that’s worth a look:
He's tied with #RBNY's Omir Fernandez for most assists by any rookie with 2.— Matt Pollard (@LWOSMattPollard) September 8, 2019
He's one of at most 5 rookies to establish themselves in the first team. He's producing more offensively than any of them. He's been more efficient that some quality seasoned vets. #AndreROY
The question is, will the rest of the squad now come out with blond hair?
Gritty, Now Adding Football
Jonathan Lewis’ postgame interview was gold, showing the amount of confidence the team has now under Fraser. Toward the end, he noted, “We’ve been a gritty team but now we’re adding football to it, so we’re going to be a hard team to beat going forward.”
He also noted that they are now “the hunters,” an amazing turn of confidence given their start and how previous manager Anthony Hudson lamented the quality of his squad compared to other MLS teams.
Rather than looking for excuses, both Conor Casey and Fraser know football, MLS, and the level of talent the players have. What will it look like with a solid coach and a full preseason coming in 2020?
Odds and Ends
- The Rapids took 24 shots with eight on target, compared to the Sounders five shots with two on target. While many would attribute this disparity to the international call-ups for the Sounders, the Rapids had a few call-ups as well. Still, there is a clear gelling of coach, philosophy, and play among the squad.
- The Rapids now sit 10th in the Western Conference at 33 points (9-14-6), just ahead of the Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps. Again, we need to remember that this team under the aforementioned Anthony Hudson had a grand total of two after 11 games. So, the Rapids have scored 31 points in the last 18 games. Stunning!
The Rapids play another home game this coming Wednesday against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy (7:00 pm). Let’s keep this train a-rollin’!