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Colorado Rapids Predictions for 2023 Season

Speak to any fan at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and you’ll gauge a distinct lack of optimism for this year’s Rapids’ MLS season but there is still a lot to play for in the closing third of the remaining fixtures.

Despite their less-than-optimal record to date, ‘Pids supporters remain in eager anticipation for what lies ahead for their beloved team.

A Brief History of the Colorado Rapids

Established in 1995, the Rapids were one of the inaugural teams of MLS. Since their inception, they have been an integral part of the soccer landscape in Colorado and have garnered a dedicated fan base.

Over the years, the team has had its fair share of successes and tribulations. Clinching their first MLS Cup in 2010, the team made history as the only team from the Rocky Mountain region to win the league championship.

Lifting the cup sent Coloradoans into a frenzy, firmly establishing the Rapids as a force to be reckoned with in MLS, but subsequent seasons proved only how difficult it was for any force in the league to stay on top. More recently, there have been glimmers of that momentous 2010 feat but the road, on the whole, has been rocky.

After finishing 1st in the conference and 2nd overall in the 2021 season, the team had an immediate fall from grace, managing only 18th position overall the following year. Having lost four key players from their starting eleven in the form of Sam Vines, Kellyn Acosta, Cole Bassett (their 2020 season’s top scorer) and Auston Trusty, it was always going to be difficult to muster a repeat performance and their results reflected this.

At the outset of their 2023 campaign, Colorado sportsbooks priced the Rapids +25000 to win the cup, demonstrating their lack of confidence in the side. And unfortunately after 21 matches, the team are dead last in the Western Conferences having accrued only 15 points.

Colorado Rapids’ Season Outlook

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Since American soccer is one of the only league’s that doesn’t have promotion or relegation, the Colorado Rapids needn’t fear the drop, but a poor performance will make it harder for management to attract new talent, only compounding the club’s problems. They currently find themselves bottom of the Western Conference, and 11 points behind the hallowed 9th place, Vancouver Whitecaps who they will need to surpass if they are to have any chance of making the playoffs this year.

With 14 games still to play in the regular season, the feat is not impossible but they certainly have a steep hill to climb, and October 21 will come around quickly. The team’s fourth upcoming fixture is away at Minnesota United who are in 11th place in the conference. This is essentially a 6 point game, and a win is crucial for the rest of the season’s campaign.

Player Transactions

Rapids wunderkind Cole Bassett made a welcome return to the club at the end of last year following a just shy of one year spell in Europe at Dutch clubs Feyenoord and Fortuna Sittard. He’s a much needed addition to Robin Fraser’s side that was distinctly lacking in creativity in the mid-field. Unfortunately, the capped US international has been struggling on and off with a hamstring injury which means we still haven’t seen him at his best.

A two year contract with Costa Rican Daniel Chacón has been confirmed, who demonstrated adeptness for his international side in the FIFA World Cup 2022. Chacón remains on loan to Costa Rican club Liga Deportiva Alajuelense until the end of the year, so the Rapids will need to wait until 2024 to see what impact he will have.

French forward Kevin Cabral who was signed in the offseason from LA Galaxy brings attacking prowess to the team and has already proved his worth, scoring against his former side in May. Danish center-back Andreas Maxso, also signed earlier this year, strengthens the team’s defensive capabilities.

Adapting to the Future

Canada’s Moise Bombito showed great promise in a recent Gold Cup tie against Guadeloupe where the national side had the midfielder playing in a predominantly defensive role. The Rapids have been playing Bombito in a much more aggressive position and it hasn’t been working well, so maybe the coaching staff will reconsider and play him where he is at his strongest.

Coach Robin Fraser explained how his side often shows tremendous resilience in many matches but usually only after taking a one or more goal deficit. He has called for his struggling team to search for precision in the key moments.

With no points to show from their last 8 encounters many fans are beginning to have a sense of déjà vu from last season. But the final whistle is still far from being blown, so we can only wait and see how the rest of the Rapid’s season unfolds.

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