Rapids First Strike in Seattle

Colorado took its 1st ever point in Seattle. What does this mean for the Rapids?
by Greg Moss   |   Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mile High Club – column on Colorado Rapids & the Denver area and Colorado soccer scenes.

The word “sign” doesn’t necessarily mean anything to many, save for oddly superstitious sports fans.

The smallest thing could mean the difference between winning and losing to a fanatic, such as the way the wind is blowing, or how green the grass is, or what color their socks are. The world of sports is a world unto itself, living outside the realm of reality.

Winning or losing can be more important to a fan than paying bills, or meeting the family for dinner. Sports are life, and live within all of us.

Rapids pull 1st ever point in Seattle

The “signs” I’m referring to are that this is the first Rapids team to walk out of Seattle, which, at the beginning of the season, were favored by many to win the MLS Cup, with any sort of positive outcome.

The Sounders had won all 5 of the matches that they had played against the Rapids at home, and had an all-time record of 8-1-1 against Colorado, whose only win against Seattle was at home with their Cup winning team in 2010.

The fact that this young Colorado team is the first in Rapids history to take a point from Seattle at CenturyLink Field can be interpreted as a “sign” that maybe the Rapids are on the right track to a bright future, and a more than possible 2013 playoff appearance.

With Seattle still holding 4 games in hand, the Rapids needed to walk away with any sort of point to maintain their playoff contention. Though the Sounders are currently out of playoff contention, they are still one of the most feared teams in the Western Conference, if not the entire league. Seattle may be one of the hardest venues to play with one of the best fan bases in the country; the Rapids knew what needed to be done. They took full advantage of Eddie Johnson’s absence and left Seattle with what many consider to be a win: a point.

Confidence booster

The match in Seattle may have been one of the hardest fought matches the Rapids have seen in the 2013 season. It was ugly, it was brutal, but they came out with what felt like a win. They had done something no other Rapids team had ever done.

Much like the DC United draw felt like a loss, the Seattle draw felt like a win. I can only speculate that the Rapids feel they win any match from here on out. They truly feel that they cannot only make the playoffs, they feel they can make a deep run. Even the 2010 Cup winning Rapids could not take a point from Seattle losing 2-1 at CenturyLink.

In retrospect, the 2010 MLS Cup team came into the playoffs as the 8th seed and won it all, but they were still not able to overcome an overbearing atmosphere in the northwest.

I cannot stress enough that the Rapids have a promising future, but can they win now? The draw against Seattle may be the most crucial match that Colorado plays all season. The young and old alike know that they can win anything and can assert their will into a match at any time. Colorado truly is a team flying with high confidence not losing a match in the month of July.

If they can win or draw against the Galaxy on Saturday with Pablo Mastroeni’s “homecoming”, Colorado will arguably be unstoppable.

Remainder of the season

The bipolarity that many have spoken of that haunts the Colorado Rapids, playing up to each team, and down to others may disappear. Somehow, the match against Seattle must find its way into the minds of the players helping them realize that they can potentially be undefeated the rest of the season. A bold statement, I know, but the war that took place at CenturyLink Field must open many eyes to the Rapids being a real contender for the playoffs this season, and many to come.

Looking at the remainder of the season, the Sounders match came at the perfect time for the Rapids as they delve into the final stretch of the season with an extremely tough schedule. If they can use the talent they have on their bench to rest legs and “play by committee”, and use the match in Seattle as a “we’re invincible” mindset, they may be able to finish higher than their current 5th seed.

Colorado faces LA twice more, Seattle again, Portland, Vancouver twice and RSL at home. These are not easy matches, though no match in the MLS is. It will be a true test to see what the new players that Oscar Pareja and the rest of the Colorado front office have accumulated can do.

Whether the Rapids finish the 2013 season in playoff contention or not, the match in Seattle is a season high for Colorado, and shows promise for years to come.

NEXT UP: July 27 – Colorado Rapids vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. 7 p.m. EST, ESPN2.

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Concordia College
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Colorado Rapids
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Producer of "From the Pitch" with Marcelo Balboa and a personal Rapids podcast. All personality with a face for radio and profile pictures. Born a midwesterner, thankfully transformed into a Rocky Mtn dweller. Covering Colorado Rapids with words and voice