To say it's been a painful run of form is an understatement. The Rapids have two wins this season out of 19 games. Not a single home victory. The LA Galaxy visited last Saturday and Colorado was still unable to beat the streak. No goals scored, no win. As a fan, the misery continues.
The lack of scoring doesn't come from a lack of opportunity. They create plenty of chances but simply cannot finish. This isn't a new phenomenon either. This is something Colorado has struggled with for several consecutive seasons. Last season's talisman, Diego Rubio, has missed the majority of this season through various injuries. The Chilean has started 7 games, one appearance off the bench, for a total of 600 minutes played. Although Darren Yapi shows promise, he hasn't scored an MLS goal yet and has also missed games while playing at the youth international level. Yapi has logged 581 minutes with 5 starts and 12 total MLS appearances. So, the main striker has largely been absent and so has the backup. It's a convenient excuse but relevant nonetheless.
"We have to start being more clinical. We have to reward ourselves. We've got to start taking three points, especially at home" said Steven Beitashour after last week's draw. Hard to argue with that.
(Image: Colorado Rapids)
Having a healthy team makes a huge difference. Just ask Miami or the Galaxy. Meanwhile, Sporting KC started the season with a huge swathe of injuries to key players but have since turned it around. The lack of injuries was undoubtedly a key factor in the success of the 2021 season that saw the Rapids top the Western Conference. This isn't to say that the only reason the Rapids have struggled this season is bad luck with injuries. It goes deeper.
The fact remains that more attacking support and increased efficiency in the attacking third is greatly needed. Defensively the performances have been extremely inconsistent. On an individual basis, very few players can say they've had a good season in this squad. Connor Ronan has been a very good progressive passer and has filled in well for Jack Price. William Yarbrough seems to have risen to the occasion with the competition of the young Serbian on loan, Marko Ilic. Moise Bombito is showing he is not just a youngster with potential but a viable MLS caliber starting player. Veterans like Bryan Acosta and Michael Barrios have done pretty well when called upon. Meanwhile Alex Gersbach and Briain Galvan have both struggled this season.
(Image: Colorado Rapids)
It's easy, especially as fans, to speculate and hope that a few key signings in the transfer window could turn the tide. Typically I'm pretty optimistic myself but it's hard to feel that way right now. Would you bring in a striker, a winger, a creative midfielder, centerback or left back? All of the above? Does the club have the funds to bring in a true difference maker at any position? What would actually move the needle in the right direction? There's an endless slew of questions to be asked with very few clear answers. The secondary transfer window officially opens up on July 5th and closes on August 2nd. It's reasonable to expect some movement but anything beyond 1-2 moves is highly unlikely considering the roster flexibility and history of the club.
Looking at the schedule, it's also hard to be optimistic mostly because the Colorado Rapids are dead last currently. Wooden Spoon contenders sadly. They travel to St. Louis for their next match who are currently top of the Western Conference. Then the Burgundy Boys host the Portland Timbers for the July 4th game and fireworks show. The playoff line is 11 points away and the Rapids only have 14 total points this season. There's no way to sugarcoat how bleak the outlook is. As players, and as fans, all you can do is brush it off. Take it one day and one game at a time.
If there is one positive spin to add this gloomy mix, it's this: confidence changes everything. Confidence often times comes from scoring goals. One goal could be all it takes to lift the spirit of the team, and the fans, and start a positive run. Yes, the Rapids are at the bottom of MLS and face the best team in the West in their next outing. But remember, this is Major League Soccer. Anything can happen!