It’s been 2-1/2 weeks since the last home game, hard to believe we’re in the home stretch for the MLS playoffs. This time last year, we fans were in a nail-biting/despairing/vaguely hopeful state of mind. How are we feeling about the playoffs now? The points-per-game-played spreadsheet (forget that MLS standings nonsense: PPGP is the only one that reflects the true playoff picture) shows the Rapids holding the second Wild Card spot, #6 in the overall standings. The top 4 teams are Western Conference. Seattle has surged into 2nd place. One of the biggest potential problems is that the teams ahead of the Rapids in the West have played fewer games overall, so have more opportunities to accumulate points and move even farther ahead in the point totals. For the Rapids, winning is now everything.
The Reserves have finally figured that out. I was lucky to catch the second half of the Reserve game against Houston last week. It wasn’t the full-blown MLS game experience, but it was fun and impressive. Keep in mind, most of the “Reserve” team has now notched 1st team playing time, not to mention playing most or all of the Champions League game in Honduras, amidst a barrage of thrown debris, after spending like 2 weeks getting there. Or so it seemed. After the game, I asked Reserve coach Brett Jacobs if the Reserve team was in danger of getting bored and complacent playing Reserve games. He thought no. He now sees a group of players with heightened self-esteem from those experiences, who are attacking and going for the win, regardless of who they’re playing. They all want to get back on the 1st team. The final 2 Reserve games are against Dallas on October 2nd and RSL on October 15th. Those are both weekend days. It’s a great opportunity to see familiar players, and also a great venue for kids to watch some serious soccer up close, in an informal setting.
Jeff Larentowicz flew off to L.A. to hang out with the USMNT, sitting on the bench watching them lose to Costa Rica, and then flew to Belgium to sit on the bench, mostly, and watch them lose to Belgium. Well, the good news is he didn’t get injured or overly tired in those games. He spent a whole lotta time sitting on airplanes.
Kosuke Kimura mused on fashion choices, culinary expertise and dancing talent of his teammates. Pretty funny stuff. I hope they allow some other players to do the same in the coming weeks.
Someone at MLS suggested that Marvell Wynne would make a good left back for the USMNT. It was a “what-the-hell” sort of speculation, since Wynne doesn’t play left back – we could have told them that. But apparently the position is screaming for a solution, so “tell him to keep it simple and see what happens”. This sounds desperate. It’s also a bad idea, since it means USMNT call ups could take both Larentowicz and Wynne away from the Rapids at crucial times.
The next time we see the Rapids in person is the Santos game, when we’ll all be uncharacteristically sitting on the West side of the stadium. The Santos fans will be taking up the East side. Will they be allowed to throw things at the opposing team, which is the accepted norm on their home turf? CONCACAF doesn’t seem to mind that behavior, now does it?
Finally, at this point, “Boo Who” seems to have won the title for the wave of booing that originates in 108 (oh, about row 5, seat 1) and reverberates across the stands, targeting some unlucky opponent who happens to be playing in front of us. However, if you haven’t voted yet, feel free to add your voice: