4 questions heading into the Rapids season opener…

There are four questions in relation to the Rapids that come to mind as we head into the MLS season just days away.

Question #1Can the Rapids be the Leicester City of MLS this season? Meaning, can Pablo & Co be THE talk of the league, the top dog in the Supporter’s Shield race or even win the MLS Cup? Short answer, NO. Sure it’s possible and it would be great for the supporters and the league if the Rapids could pull off such a feat, but as long as Mastroeni is in charge, I dont see it happening. His substitution patterns are more times than not questionable at best. And he hasn’t grasped the idea of attacking football and how to implement it. The Rapids have hopes of a great season as the other 19 teams in MLS, but they will not be good enough to take the league by storm, though stranger things have happened.

Question #2 – Speaking of Mastroeni, he is no doubtedly on the hot seat coming this season. Does Pablo get the axe or does he make it through the whole season? How will he(Pablo) fare as 2016 rolls along? Will he be like Brendan Rogers (fired early season), Jose Mourinho (mid-season) or more like Louis Van Gaal, hanging on week in and week out throughout this season?

I strongly believe that if the Rapids get off to a bad start in March, April and maybe some into May that he is gone, adios, arrivederci, giving assistant coach John Spencer time to shape the team the way he wants especially before the pending arrival of Tim Howard in July. Though there is still nothing officially announced on this possible move.

Question #3Who will the Rapids miss the most this season Clint Irwin, Vicente Sanchez, Gaby Torres or Drew Moor? Quick answer without a doubt, Irwin, A LOT! Nothing against McMath, but you still have to prove to us that you’re capable in net. It’s gonna be difficult with a legendary Tim Howard looking over your shoulder even from as far away as Everton.

Next would be Sanchez. Many times last season he was the only spark offensively the Rapids had, the one player who could create and play 1v1 against opposing defenders, making him a fan favorite.

Question #4 – Can this season’s tandem of Doyle & Gashi be as good as the scoring duo of Conor Casey & Omar Cummings?¬†Rapids fans can only hope so! We have yet to see much of Doyle and Gashi together on the pitch, but something tells me that if the midfield can move the ball forward and not create turnovers, this could be a special pair for the Rapids.

Those are just a few questions that came to mind for me as we head into the 2016 season starting in just 4 short days! Your thoughts? And what other questions do you have for this season?

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The Full 90: Week 3 – New York City F.C. at Rapids recap…

Saturday was a gorgeous day for the Rapids home opener as they took on one of the leagues newest clubs in New York City F.C. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was sold out to witness the new look Rapids and NYCFC’s David Villa and US International Mix Diskerud. My thoughts on the game below.

New C38 Tifo

The GOOD – Defensively the Rapids were solid, especially in the first half. They were physical. Sjoberg didnt back down from David Villa and for most of the game frustrated him, limiting his touches. Keeper Clint Irwin was again solid with his second clean sheet this season. Offensively the Rapids outshot their opponent 21 to 9.

The BAD – Despite 21 shots(7 on goal), the Rapids were unable to find the back of the net.

The UGLY – Winless streak is now at 16.

Synopsis – Despite not scoring a goal yet in the first two games, the offensive attack showed great improvement. the Rapids had 19 more shots than they did in week 1. The 4-2-3-1 formation is working well so far 2 games in. The attacking midfield combination of Powers, Torres and Sanchez looked great. Very impressed with the play of Cronin and Pittinari as well in the back half of midfield. Does Drew Moor remain the captain when he returns? Sjoberg and the back line made few mistakes, kept NYCFC’s attackers off balance. Two games in, 2 points. Remember it could be lot worse. Overall grade – B

The Full 90: Week 1 – Rapids at Union recap…

I finally got the chance to watch the season opener against the Union and here are my thoughts on the game.

The GOOD – Defensively, the Rapids were there, even when they were playing down a man in the second half after the Burling dismissal. They were physical, they attacked the ball, dominated the aerial battles, winning 62% of those. Irwin was great in net. Sjoberg was more than solid in his first start of his rookie MLS campaign.

The BAD – Offensively only two shots, zero on goal. Possession 38%, too many turnovers and too many balls played over the top. Little creativity from the midfield. Midfield play further declined after Sanchez substitution.

The UGLY – The second yellow and red card send off of Bobby Burling in the 67th minute. The winless streak continues.

Synopsis – I know we’re only one game in, but this is a much better Rapids team defensively from what we saw in the second half of the season last year. Midfield needs to control possession better and create opportunities moving the ball forward. Still a well earned point for the Rapids on the road to start the season. If the playoffs started today, we would be in, LOL!

Preseason: Rapids drop points to Sporting, 2-2 draw…

I know it’s only preseason, but if this were the regular season, the Rapids who lead for a majority of the game holding 3 points in their grasp. Sporting scored in the 77th and the tying goal in the 78th minute, both goals coming after the Rapids were playing down a man on the ejection of Francisco Flores in the 75th minute.

Again it’s only preseason but this is where the Rapids have to begin to tighten the screws and bolts as they head into the start of the new season and a loss like this can hopefully serve as a learning point moving forward. Points dropped during the season like this will serve as another long season for the Rapids and their fans.

Dominque Badji and Gaby Torres both scored for the Rapids with assists from Lucas Pittinari and Vicente Sanchez. Zac MacMath was in net for the Rapids. If you include the preseason game against UNLV, then the Rapids are 1-1-1 so far this preseason.

Rapids will play their next preseason game of the Desert Diamond Cup against the New England Revolution this Saturday.

The Full 90 – Quakes vs Rapids observations…

Some observations from the match Saturday night against the Quakes. Good effort overall by the boys, statistically they were the better team on the night. They created some chances, were more aggressive and it looked as though they had a good week of practice leading up to the game. They still need to tighten up on defense some more, but certainly an improvement over the previous few games. It figures that the two teams with similar winless streaks would end this match in a tie. Both the Quakes and Rapids are now winless in their last 10 matches.

It was good to see Gaby Torres get the start up top with Deshorn Brown, this has been long overdue. I actually like the substitution in the second half of Sanchez in for Powers. I’m sure Sanchez would love to start every match as any player would, but I like it when he comes off the bench and immediately this team gets a much needed spark going forward. Joe Nasco in net was a huge surprise as earlier in the week it was hinted or suggested that Irwin looked like he might get the start going into the weekend.

The attendance was actually better than I expected it to be considering the Rapids freefall the last 2 months and hosting a team like the Quakes doesnt necessarily guarantee a huge turnout, unless hecking Wondolowski is on your to-do list for the evening.

Three points were there for the taking for the Rapids, but I’m still left wondering why there was so much stoppage time at the end of the match. Regardless or not, the Rapids need to continue to play until the whistle is blown. Better job this week Rapids, now let’s see what we can do against Seattle on Sunday. Go Rapids!