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Downstream Game 26: Home vs Austin FC

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Austin FC Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Austin FC Stats

2021 Record: 6-16-4 WLT, 22 points for 0.85 PPG

Goals: 27 for, 40 allowed, -13 differential

Power Rankings: ATX #27 (-), Rapids #4 (-1)

Last Result: 2-0 win over LA Galaxy

The newcomers are back for a third helping of the Colorado Rapids. After a very disappointing first game, we went into their home territory and made the score even. Since then, Austin has further solidified their placement at the bottom of the conference. Much too close for comfort to the Wooden Spoon, they look to at least pull themselves out of the basement as they hope to do what they did last time in Colorado. Do they stand much of a chance?

Well… I’d like to say no, but given our track record the last few games, I can’t confidently say no. We should still get a win out of this. But we also should have gotten three points from Toronto FC. Arguably three from the Portland Timbers and three from the Vancouver Whitecaps as well. There are two ways to look at this whole situation the Rapids are in right now. One, we’ve tied five of our last six and have only scored six goals. We’ve probably dropped anywhere from two to ten points, and we’d likely be top of the West if even just two of those games had gone better.

Or, think of it like this. We’re unbeaten in 11 games, we have the fewest losses in the conference, a healthy goal differential, and — important for the playoffs — a healthy roster.

I’m not… worried exactly, because I think people misunderstand the situation. None of these have been losses. We’ve still looked like a pretty solid team. Let’s be honest, we’re still third in the West, five points ahead of fourth and with a game still in hand. I’m not superstitious which is why I’m saying this: the Rapids could play like trash for the remainder of the schedule and we’d still be able to call this season a success. And probably qualify for the playoffs while we’re at it.

Let’s get past the doom and gloom and be realistic. Austin is a great chance to get back to form, and by all means we should be able to do that. We’ve had the top spot within shouting distance for most of the season. We might not get there, but don’t let that take away from how far we’ve come too.