Everyone who had the Colorado Rapids making the playoffs this season please raise your hands.
The Colorado Rapids were not a good soccer team last season. The club ended their 2015 campaign with a dismal 9-15-10 record and were pretty much the butt of all jokes within the league. With coach Pablo Mastroeni at odds with supporters over the use of some of their young players and management’s bizarre, dogged pursuit of Alan Pulido and Carlos Vela it seemed as if 2016 was going to be another long season for the Rapids.
Yet a strange thing happened on the Rapids way to the bottom: they worked out their issues. Buoyed by the signings of Shkelzen Gashi and Jermaine Jones the Rapids flew out of the gate and never looked back. Whereas most clubs that surprisingly start out of the gate strong fall back to the earth the Rapids never really had much trouble this season. Even making the dicey switch from Zac MacMath to Tim Howard paid off handsomely for the club.
Now the question comes to whether the side can do it in the playoffs. MLS, rightly or wrongly, is known for being a bit of a yo-yo league where teams struggle one season and then succeed in the next. The Rapids are not exactly the first team to make the climb from the bottom.
But what separates the good sides from the rest is their ability to perform in the playoffs. Their first test will be on Sunday when they begin a two game series against the Los Angeles Galaxy (5pm EST ESPN, TSN1).
So what are the three hopes and one fear of the Rapids? Read on to find out!