Back when the Seattle Sounders were rolling on their post-CCL high, the Colorado Rapids gave them a dose of reality in a 1-0 loss. Since then there have been two mini-seasons for Brian Schmetzer’s side. They were very good for a couple weeks and then they were very bad for a couple of weeks.
Injuries are still a problem for Seattle. João Paolo, Raúl Ruidíaz and Obed Vargas are out for certain. That’s a lot of missing quality in the spine.
In order to get off the schneid, the Sounders will need to score again, which likely means Jordan Morris going beyond threatening to making the box score.
The Rapids are below Seattle in the standings and just cast off one of their top talents. If the Sounders are going to charge above the red line, they have to do it by crushing teams like Colorado.
For Burgundy Wave, Shapalicious answers Three Questions.
SaH: The Rapids were preseason favorites, what when wrong?
BW: Nearly everything. Before the season even started Braian Galvan tore his ACL and he was to replace a lot of what Cole Bassett did in the past. Galvan had already proven solid for the Rapids last season. Then went Aboubacar Keita with an ACL tear, he was supposed to be a rotational player that would eventually replace Auston Trusty who just left this summer for Arsenal but the move had been in the works for some time. On top of that Colorado had already lost Sam Vines last summer and while they thrived down the stretch he’s still a big loss year over year.
In season Colorado hasn’t been able to put away scoring chances which they seem to almost always out-do other teams in. So they went out and got Gyasi Zardes, who has barely produced for the club. The Rapids midfield hasn’t been very good so they’ve shuck it up by trading away long-established good player Mark-Anthony Kaye. What are they doing? Nobody is quite sure but these are the realities of being a club without a Designated Player, let alone two or three.
SaH: Who needs to start contributing more to support Diego Rubio in the attack?
BW: Rubio is awesome so let me just say that. He’s been doubted in every situation he’s been in and every year he’s played in MLS. And yet he just keeps doing his thing. A lot of the Rapids’ goals over the past few season have come off of set piece assists from Jack Price. The captain has battled through injures this year which has really impacted Colorado’s attack. The easy answer here though is Michael Barrios, who led the team with eight goals last season. He’s only found twine once. in 2022.
SaH: Will Colorado sell off MLS talent or will they try to surge above the red line?
BW: The Rapids say they’re still going for it, but that doesn’t really seem true or feasible. While only three points out they’d have to jump five teams for the final playoff spot, including the Sounders, and steady MLS franchises the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers. Colorado wants to become a selling club and they’ve done that in the past year, letting go of Trusty, Bassett and Vines. They’ve even sold MAK and Kellyn Acosta within the league. I know LAFC would’ve loved to have Price but that’s before Bale joined them. So they have players teams would like to have. But I doubt the Rapids go full rebuild. They want to have a core of MLS vets supplemented by younger talent they develop in house. The Rapids have done this and bought low on key pieces along the way. The issue is right now Colorado is between cycles of young talent, with their top prospects either hurt or a few years away from being steady MLS players.