It was either this or Career Opportunities
So here we are. 3 games in 11 days to win the Supporters Shield. First up, the Earthquakes tomorrow night. San Jose is one loss (or a couple of wins from other teams) from playoff elimination so they have a lot on the line as well though they're chances are really slim even with a win.
Rapids. Whitecaps. Its going to be wet.
A final trip to Canada, at least in the regular season, is up tomorrow for the Rapids. Vancouver is barely holing on to playoff hopes and a loss combined with an KC win would all but eliminate them this weekend. Meanwhile the Rapids need a win to stay in the Shield race.
Pretty sure I've used this one before
Tomorrow night we start the critical final seven game run to the playoffs. We still have a shot at the Shield, the top spot in the West, or a CCL spt (or possibly all 3). The run has to start now with a win over San Jose in 24 hours. The problem? We're 0 for our last 13 against SJ and 0 for our last 10 against them here in Colorado.
Last time we were in Dallas...
Three weeks ago I wrote about how important this 5 game run was. I said to achieve our reasonable goal (at that point) of a top 2 finish and a shot at the Shield we needed to show up for these 5 games because the run-in after that was an easier schedule. Well in the first four of those games we've managed 2 points and seen Dallas pull away from us and LA and FSL start breathing down our necks.
North Bridge, location of the 'Shot Heard Round the World'
Officially Jameson Night is only when the Revolution come to Denver. We wouldn't want to jinx that by holding it in some other scenario but if some fans were to tip one back unofficially tomorrow I don't think the Rapids would refuse some Irish luck in New England.
Are we sure there are 22 players available tomorrow night?
The last (league) match before the end of the summer tournaments and before the summer transfer window opens is here. Well, for the half of the teams actually going to be in LA tomorrow night. Neither the Galaxy or Rapids will be at full strength for this one and it will probably show.
After a long break (not counting the USOC match) we're back to league play tonight with the Chicago Fire in town. The Fire and Rapids were considered the favorite to battle for the wooden spoon and the Fire are living up to that prediction. Kickoff is at 7pm so the tailgate starts at 4.
Tomorrow the 4th Round of the U.S. Open Cup kicks off and due to the timing the first game will actually be the Rapids hosting the Colorado Springs Switchbacks at 7pm at the Dick. This is the third year in a row the Rapids have started their USOC campaigns at home and I'm still getting used to it.
Spin To Win!
The top team in the East, Philadelphia, comes to Commerce City to face the top team in the West. There's something nobody expected to write when the season started. Philly is on short rest after playing in Orlando Wednesday while Colorado is missing Jones and Gashi for international play.
May 18th, 1980
The anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption isn't exactly celebrated in the Pacific NW but it is certainly remembered and has been adopted by some as Cascadia Day. The Rapids head into a place where they've only ever one one game in their history tomorrow, the good news is that it was the most recent game that they won.
The reason this preview is late
One more game in this busy week. Tonight the Rapids are in Columbus facing the newly branded Crew. Columbus has had a busy week of its own as a locker room meltdown led to the trade of Kei Kamara, who tied Giovinco for the most goals in the league last season. So we're going to see what kind of mental shape the Crew are in tonight.
Sporking KC is in town
Another quick turnaround this week as KC comes into Commerce City tomorrow night. They're on a bad run of results that was started with the win we got in KC a few weeks ago. Since then they haven't won and they've had trouble scoring. Meanwhile the Rapids haven't lost since that win in KC and have found their scoring touch.
In the Kilauea Iki caldera, in honor of our hot start
Well the reason I've been quiet since the game preview two weeks ago was a trip to Hawai'i. I thought I'd be able to do short updates during the trip but we were pretty busy. I'll have a look back at Seattle and Montreal next week.
Tonight though we look forward to FSL and the Rocky Mountain Cup game tomorrow night.
Flipping the coin at the 5-1 win in 2013
I'd be happy to have another result like that one tomorrow night. Without ex-Sounder Marco Pappa though, that might be asking a lot. Of course Seattle is beat up as well, so it could be an interesting game. Game time tomorrow is 7pm so the tailgate starts at 4.
The Rapids are scheduled to play RBNY tomorrow. I say scheduled because the Winter Storm Warning that's on for the Denver area has everyone watching the Rapids social media accounts to see if this one is rescheduled. The last time this happened, the opener in March of 2013, it wasn't until 9:30 Saturday morning that the game was rescheduled.
Opening graphic on the broadcast 20 years ago tomorrow night
20 years ago tomorrow this wild ride we call the Rapids got started with a game in KC against the then Kansas City Wiz. The Wiz would become the Wizards and then Sporting KC while the Rapids would stay the Rapids but go from green and white to black and blue and then burgundy and light blue.
FSL. I hate these guys (to paraphrase Indy)
The Rocky Mountain Cup takes a road trip to Sandy this week. Unlike its trip here last fall though it will be safely in the hands of the Rapids travelling contingent and will return in one piece. This is the first of three matches in the RMC this year, the first of two in Sandy.
Giovinco, that you?
Toronto makes its trip down from the great white north tomorrow and they bring with them a couple of old friends. Drew Moor and Clint Irwin make their return to the Dick after being traded in the offseason. I hope the fans will give them the send-off they deserve, before watching them lose to our Rapids.
Talon vs. Edson. Either way RapidMan is still better
Colorado makes the first of many East Coast trips this weekend as we're in the nation's capital facing DC United. Its also our only appearance on ESPN this season. We're hitting DC at a weak moment so maybe that will favor us but Gashi's suspension will hurt.
Maybe this guy will make an appearance?
Its been a long winter of discontent but tomorrow we finally get to get back out to the Dick and enjoy a home game. Of course its a tall mountain to climb tomorrow as the opponent is the LA Galaxy and their roster of ex-European stars. The injury report helps us out a bit but this will still be a tough match.
Lots of talk over the last 4 months becomes action tomorrow as this season finally gets started. For the Rapids that means a game in San Jose. Its hard to think of a season opener as a "must win" (unless we're talking college football) but considering this is the only game we play against a non 2015 playoff team or FSL until Philly comes to Commerce City on May 28th this is about as close to one as you can get.
Edson vs. Talon, who will win?
After that ugliness on Wednesday night its a quick turn-around with DC coming into town tomorrow night. United is traditionally pretty bad at altitude (when the Rapids take the game seriously) so we have a chance but we have to have a better lineup than we did in Vancouver.
Whitecaps - Rapids, wettest fixture in the league
After the international break the Rapids are off for international travel to British Columbia. Over the last two years the Rapids are 4-0-0 against the Whitecaps in Colorado but 0-0-1 in Vancouver. Both teams will be weakened by international callups and suspensions.
She's even SporKC's blue
Back at it right away tomorrow with a 2 game win streak. And unlike when we were in KC earlier this year I'm sure we'll get the game in this weekend. The SporKCs are on a bit of a down swing at the moment but overall they're still one of the best teams in the conference so this will be a tough match.
Electricity + Water = Trouble
After what seems like a long stretch on the road but was only a couple of games the Rapids host Houston tomorrow night. The Dynamo still cling to playoff hopes though a loss in Commerce City tomorrow night would erase most of them. Game time tomorrow is 7pm so the tailgate starts at 4, or whenever people get there after work.
Choose Your Weapon
If you thought last week's game was unbearable this week's game might be worse. We've go the Rapids, last place int he Wast, versus the Fire, last place in the East. Ugly, ugly soccer ahead. Kickoff tomorrow is at 6:30pm with a watch party at the Southside Bar & Kitchen.
The last placed rider in a bike race is the Lantern Rouge
San Jose and Colorado are currently ties with the lowest pts/game average since the start of the 2014 season. So the loser of this game will really be the worst team in the league the last two seasons. So, hey, something to play for! Game time tomorrow is 9pm MDT and the game is on UniMas!
What happened to the Village People?
The Crew make their first trip to the Dick in with their new logo tomorrow night. They're in almost as bad a shape as this one so it may e competitive but bad soccer we see. Kickoff tomorrow is at 7pm so tailgating, featuring meatball subs, is at 4pm. 'Celo and Fleming have the call on Altitude.
Technically the blue moon is tonight but close enough
The Galaxy is in town tomorrow night but the question is, are their stars with them? dos Santos won't be announced until next week and Keane and Gerrard both had to back out of the All-Star Game earlier in the week with injuries. There was talk in the last couple of days that they may not be ready for tomorrow night but they don't appear on the injury report.
What's worse, Microsoft's or CLink's?
After back-to-back home wins the Rapids are in my hometown tomorrow night. Of course the land of airplanes and coffee hasn't exactly been a hospitable place for Colorado. In 11 games we have 1 draw and have been outscored 26-7. Outside of new arrivals Orlando and NYCFC, Seattle is the only MLS city we've never won in.
We're Long Overdue To Beat These Guys
Rocky Mountain Cup time again! After a 0-0 draw earlier this season the Cup will be decided in two games in Commerce City; tomorrow night and October 4th. A win tomorrow would really put the pressure on FSL whereas a loss of any sort would leave the Rapids with pretty much nothing to play for (the way our offense goes its hard to see us beating FSL by multiple goals in the third game) the rest of the way.
Rapids Need To Boom Not Bust
The second half of the season starts tonight with the annual 4th of July party in Commerce City. At least we have one of the remaining two teams we've beaten since last 4th of July as the opponent, the Whitecaps. As always a sellout plus crowd is expected for the game and as always it won't include me as I celebrate my wedding anniversary.
Hard To Choose Between This And MLS Cup
Barring a playoff matchup (yeah, right) this is our last look at Dallas this year. We've already gotten 4 points off of them in 2 games so this is a good chance to grab some more points. Its really do or die time for the Rapids now and they can't afford not to win home games, especially with this being the second of six games in an 18 day span.
For the first time ever the Rapids will play a competitive match against another Colorado-based team. The USL Colorado Springs Switchbacks make the drive up I-25 for the 4th Round U.S. Open Cup match at the Dick tomorrow at 7pm.
Its always hard to predict how these games will go. Until last year the Rapids seemed to take every opportunity to blow off this competition by playing plenty of reserves and not competing for hosting.
I'll Be Happy To Hoist This Again
Oh yeah, its Rocky Mountain Cup time again. The Rapids make their only trip into Utah this year (barring a USOC matchup or an extremely unlikely playoff game) on Sunday to face FaKe SaLt LaKe. FSL is not having a good year and will be missing Rimando and ex-Rapid Beckerman to National Team duty so they are vulnerable.
You knew it was not going to go our way when Sjoberg was a late scratch due to a stomach bug and Watts started in his place alongside Burling. Sure enough, 15 minutes in, a poor decision by Powers and a bad deflection from Watts led to a Sounders goal and after that the Rapids were chasing the game, badly.
A Sounder of wild pigs
Namely, win in Seattle. On short rest and on artificial turf Colorado will head to my hometown looking to keep their undefeated road streak alive and hopefully get their first 3 points ever in the Emerald City. In our 10 previous competitive matches played in Seattle (or Tukwila) we've had 1 draw and lost 9, being outscored 25-7.
A Wet Week For A Wet Matchup
After the Sporks wimped out on us last week the team has had two weeks of rest before tomorrow night's game against the Whitecaps. Meanwhile Vancouver scored a last minute goal over Edmonton on Wednesday night to progress to the final of the Canadian Championship. Advantage Rapids.
A No-Win Scenario For KC?
SPORting Kc is back in the West this season and this will be the Rapids first shot at them as conference rivals since 2004. There was a bit of a rivalry between the Rapids and KC in the first decade of MLS but with Kc moving to the East that's been replaced with Dallas (due to owning them in the playoffs) and FSL (due to northern Utah sucking in general).
(Not Once but Twice)
There's a good chance of lightning in the area tomorrow night in Commerce City as the Rapids take on the former Clash. Forecast for game time is 50 degrees and 75% chance of thunderstorms. Luckily the wind should be coming out of the East so it will hopefully angle the rain a bit and allow the East roof that stops right over my row to protect me.