NOTE: To avoid confusion, I’ve moved away from the “From the South Stands” moniker to something more in connection with this article and the point of my Twitter feed: @RapidsRecall.
Colorado Rapids supporters were wondering if the momentum from the ending of the 2019 season would splash over into 2020—well, that question was answered in a 2-1 road win against D.C. United to open the 2020 MLS campaign.
This game featured two original MLS squads from the 1996 campaign, each celebrating their 25th year in the league and hoping for a result. Happily, the Rapids left our nation’s capital with just that—all three points and their first win of the year.
Let’s get into our Rapid Recall:
- Stats: The Rapids not only won the game, but won in some key statistical categories: shots on goal (21-12), possession (53-47), corners (8-1), and showing discipline (only one yellow card compared to DC United’s three). Granted, even if we had lost in these categories and left DC with a 2-1 win, the rest of this would fall under the category of “so what?” but still, 21 shots on the road along with the discipline showed on both sides of the ball give Rapids supporters hope.
- Drew Moor: After a four-year hiatus and a very successful run at Toronto FC, Moor returned to Colorado to provide some leadership, but some questioned whether age had caught up to him. He showed he still has a great nose for the ball on the backline, and is every bit the threat on corners and set pieces. And there’s this:
Drew has always been a class act, connecting well with the supporters of whatever team he’s been a part of. This is gold. Welcome back, Drew!
3. Each Rapids substitute was an offensive player: I am impressed with the aggressiveness of the Rapids offensively without losing their shape defensively. All three subs were offensive subs, showing that the days of hoping for a draw on the road are in the past. These simple adjustments speak volumes as to the philosophy of the team. And judging by the Twitterverse, this encouraged Rapids supporters no end. This is the first time in a long time that the Rapids have had so many offensive weapons. We can’t wait to see this team in person against Orlando City next Saturday at 7 p.m.
4. Not everyone agrees... At least someone on Twitter believes the offense was rather one-dimensional.
The Rapids’ offensive approach in 2020 is going to be such a strange mix of detailed possession and “let’s just chuck it in to Kei Kamara”.— Joseph Lowery (@joeInCleats) February 29, 2020
I saw some of that, of course. Not utilizing Kei Kamara’s significant skills around goal would be foolish. Yet, each team gave the other team problems in the middle third and all in all, this is what you would expect (1) for the first game of 2020 until the team knows what they have, and (2) the 20+ shots weren’t just from Kamara. It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world and there is room for improvement over the next 33 games, but we saw some positives, especially towards the end when the Rapids refused to let D.C. United cross the halfline. No long balls over the top, but an organized shape moving forward and putting pressure.
5. The traveling supporters made some noise! Rapids play-by-play man Connor Cape gave some great perspective on the Rapids fans who traveled to D.C. to support our Burgundy Boys.
my personal MotM today was all the traveling @ColoradoRapids fans. the support for this squad was exceptional.— Connor Cape (@MileHighCape) February 29, 2020
even after the game was over, i was able to walk by and they’d moved down to the front row still celebrating. class #Rapids96
This does our hearts good! Rapids supporters have often been the butt of the joke when it comes to fanbases. And with more victories like this one, the fan base will continue to expand.
6. Lastly, some off-the-field news. Don Garber took the time to call out certain ownership groups who refuse to put their foot on the pedal when it comes to marketing and investment in their team. As you can imagine, a shot over the bow was fired toward Kroenke Sports Entertainment.
Don Garber calls out the Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, and the Rapids got their lack of relevance in their respective major markets.— MLS Buzz (@MLS_Buzz) February 28, 2020
Getting these markets better “is a major priority for us.” Good! Rapids supporters have grown weary of our absentee ownership giving priority to other ventures rather than the one they own in Commerce City. Invested ownership bringing in these new clubs means so much to supporter groups and fan bases. Honestly, it sounds like a showdown is coming and I, for one, am glad some pressure will be put on KSE.
What were some of your takeaways?