Rapids failure now complete
The implosion is complete.
The Colorado Rapids face a seven-game, end of the season slog in an attempt to salvage a couple of wins and a little bit of pride before the long off season.
Where those wins will come from is in doubt with the latest evidence of the team’s ineffective attack coming in the form of Friday night’s 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers. Portland, a team the Rapids thrashed 3-0 in a June match that wasn’t as close as the score indicated, got a goal late in the first half and then held on for the win.
The loss dropped Colorado to 8-17-2. Looking at the remaining schedule, it’s difficult to see where the Rapids will find even two more wins.
A team that generated 19 points in the first 13 games then mustered just seven points in the next 14 games. The final seven matches include a Sept. 5 rematch with Portland at home and an Oct. 20 visit from Chivas USA. Those are the only two matches remaining where the Rapids might be favored.
The latest result is just the latest failing of the Oscar Pareja coaching experiment. Pareja, who came from FC Dallas with no head coaching experience, has dismantled the 2010 MLS Cup champions and turned the Rapids into a squad that is nearly unwatchable.
Pareja’s arrival was supposed to coincide with a rise in attractive, attacking soccer. So far, his new additions have generated less than the players they replaced, the team stalwarts have stalled, and the defense has stumbled just enough to guarantee failure.
Pareja’s solutions as the season has spun into the ground have been to ship off a defender, Kosuke Kimura, jettison an offensive spark, Quincy Amarikwa, and bring in a defensive midfielder whose use-by date expired in the English Premier League, Hendry Thomas.
In simple terms, this team can’t score, can’t defend, and can’t do enough to make anyone but the most die-hard fan care.
So, now it is on to the final seven games of the season. Rapids management can use the time to decide if any of the components of the Pareja experiment can be salvaged.
With what we have seen on the field this season, it looks doubtful that Pareja, most of the players he brought in, and even some of the old reliable crew will see Commerce City in 2013. After this disastrous season, few of them will be missed.