Ask your questions to Junior Board Candidates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/663735417016422/
List of Candidates
Tyler Whitesides | Jonathan Boraz | Austin Mais | Grifen Miller | Brian Hedlund | Andrew Villegas | Timothy Kunin | Kevin Villegas | Chris Earley | Daniel Reinberger | Levi Gibbon | Patrick Quinn
My name is Tyler Whitesides. I am a member of C38 and was a member of Pid Army and Bulldog SG prior to that. I am currently a Goalkeeper for FC Denver. I am an assistant coach on the PASL semi-pro indoor team, as well. I have been in love with the Rapids since 2004, but have been dating them (footy-wise) semi-exclusively since 1996. I only became a season ticket holder in 2009, but for two years prior, I was a partial season ticket holder. Football is my mistress and I am in love.
I want to be a member of the Junior Board, because I feel I am knowledgeable in the game soccer, I want to do what is best for our group/our club, and I think I have the leadership skills that can be a great addition to the board. I want to be able to help make decisions that affect this board and group, and feel that I am the right candidate for the position. Although I have not been a leader in any capacity within C38, I have always tried to lead by example. Whether I am in the terraces, painting tifo, or in meetings for C38, I always try to be a voice for the people and do what is asked of me. My only goal here is to make this group better for everyone. I feel the current leadership is doing a great job and want to continue their success. There will always be areas of improvements for everyone, and our group is no different, but I will strive to allow this group to succeed the best way it can.
In my professional career, I am currently the IT manager for GE in Longmont/Boulder and have to balance many roles (e.g., assistant to the users, shipping and receiving for my department, leader), but mostly dealing with any issues that arise and maintaining a great rapport with both sides of my occupational coin is what I excel at. I feel that being able to understand how to be a voice of our group and conversing with the FO require two distinctly different tones, and those need to be handled delicately; I feel I am the best candidate available for this kind of position. Granted, I will be one of many, but I feel I will be the best way for the supporters’ voices to be heard.
Thank you for your consideration; I look forward to serving you on the Junior Board.
My name is Jonathan Boraz, although most of you know me as Boraz or Crazy Jon. I would like to represent each and every one of you as a member of the Junior Board. Since I have become actively involved with Centennial 38, I have helped operate the buses, whether as bus captain or in logistics. I operate the ticket table, greeting friends and new fans alike while distributing tickets. As a passionate, most times rabid Rapids fan, I wish to share my passion and belief in this group as I begin to take a role in the leadership of C-38. I will pursue my mission of increasing attendance and membership in the Terraces, 108, and DSG Park as a whole, continuing, but not limited to outreach at nearby college campuses. You may not be aware that I am majoring in Sports Marketing at Metro State. With the goal of entering the Game Day atmosphere and Fan Experience arena, something the C-38 is known for, my goal is to be able to enhance that as we work to make the C-38 one of the best supporter groups in the MLS.
As an officer with the Denver Chapter of the American Outlaws, in conjunction with C-38, we threw a party that is still considered to be one of the best regarded match weekends in AO history per the national office. The welcome party, which many of you attended, was held at the local soccer bars, including the Bulldog and Three Lions. Nearly 1500 fans joined for the first night’s celebration. More than twenty busloads of passionate fans were delivered and returned safely to stops throughout the metro area for the parties and games. Working in tandem with C-38, the tailgate was a huge success despite the miserable, albeit memorable weather conditions.
C-38 is a family, my family. While we may not agree on everything, there is no doubt that our common goal is for C-38 to improve and prosper. As many of you know, I am a tireless and persistent worker. If given a task, I will see it through. By increasing membership and enhancing the Game Day experience, I look forward to serving Centennial 38 as a Junior Board member.
Thank you for your consideration. I will not disappoint you.
I’ve spent the last year or so working with Mark Bodmer building the website. I spent most of my time last season working with our journalists making sure we had well written articles posted each week. Mark has promoted me to Webmaster as he has taken on other tasks. I also organize the South Metro portion of the group for away viewing parties. Outside of C38 I have helped run multiple organizations including a few smaller non-profits having served as Vice President and then President of the Colorado Airsoft Group which had around 100 members. I have always enjoyed getting involved with the organizations I interact with.
Having been through the building and re-writing of by-laws and through multiple election processes as well as dealing with both positive and negative issues within multiple organizations I think I could be an asset to the Junior Board. As a fan I have followed the Rapids since 1996 back when I was young and playing soccer for DC Blast (Now Real Colorado). I have been a season ticket holder coming on four years. I first sat in 109 and convinced the family to move to 108 a year in. I hope to help this organization to move forward and grow. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Hello, My name is Grifen Miller. I’m a recent transplant from Alaska. Being from Alaska I didn’t really start following MLS till I moved down to Denver. But since I have been here its been all rapids all time. I never really played soccer, I was more of an American Football kid. Now I have grown into a soccer adult. I have coached and organized various youth athletic programs. So I understand the amount of hardwork and dedication something like this would be on my plate.
A firm to me is not just a group of people that sing silly songs and drink beer. Firms represent the team, the town and the town’s people. I will make this firm/team the loudest in the nation. Before I moved here, I talked to Denver sports fans. I asked them what about the Rapids? The response was almost always negative. I don’t understand why. Until this season The Rapids were the most successful team in Denver in the last 10 years. And they average at least 12,000 since the start.
WE CAN DO IT!
Hi, my name is Brian Hedlund, and I am interested in serving on C38’s Junior Board because the Rapids and pre-game tailgates are an important part of my life, and the success we had combining groups last year was nothing short of spectacular. I very much want C38 to continue to flourish. What I offer to the group is a combination of dedication and competence.
Competence: I am a lawyer, and when not drinking at tailgates I manage all international tax planning for Level 3 Communications, a $6 billion telecom company with network assets in about 50 countries. I have experience serving on both corporate and non-profit boards.
Dedication: I have been a Rapids full season ticket holder for over ten years, and have been active in the Class VI tailgates for the last five years. At most tailgates you will find me wiping down tables and helping tear down at the end, and I help Bill Riedel keep the tables stocked and occasionally buy and bring food items for Perry. I love how successful the tailgate has become, and I try to help any way I can.
The Junior Board is an opportunity to help in a different way. We have something genuinely unique and amazing with C38. The things that we accomplish every game with a purely volunteer staff are really incredible. There is much more still the group can accomplish as a resource and advocate for dedicated Rapids fans, and I would like to be a part of that.
I’ve been a Rapids fan since ’96 when, as a 12-year-old, this new sport I didn’t play captured my attention. In the years since, I’ve followed every Rapids season with an anticipation that this could be the year the Rapids get the following and respect among Colorado’s sports teams that it deserves.
C38 should be for everyone what it has become for me: A place to make best friends that share my passion for soccer and are committed to making Colorado a leader among MLS supporters groups. C38′s diversity in supporters united under one banner can show the rest of MLS that, though many consider us “small-market,” we have World-class supporters — passionate, organized and welcoming to all.
Though WE know that we have World-Class supporters, I want to add my voice and organizing efforts to help the rest of the league know that which we already know about C38: That we’re here to stay and grow, that we affect positive change to the soccer supporters’ culture in America through our relationship with the Front Office, and that by being responsible and responsive to our members’ concerns, we can magnify the respect we deserve around the league as a top-shelf supporters group.
I want to help us get stuff done quickly.
I want to help us get big.
And I want to help us continue to earn respect as a force to be reckoned with in MLS and Colorado sports.
I’ve been a season ticket holder for going on 3 years and have spent significant time as a bus captain, though I have also helped out in other areas, such as the tailgate and tifo (once). As a former BSG member who sat with Class VI, I carry a relatively diverse background as far as supporters. Some things that I believe to be important as board member is the ability to think outside the box and get things done. As a PMP-certified Project Manager, getting things done is my career. As for thinking outside the box… I guess you just have to believe me
I’m Kevin Villegas, and I’d love if you considered me for the C38 Junior Board.
I’m a Denver native. I’ve loved the Rapids since 1996, but labored as a fan alone until 2008, when I joined CVI.
I remember those old Rapids games at Mile High Stadium (or Invesco) days when I was a kid. I had a girlfriend who sang the National Anthem one year early in the 2000s. She never came to find me after she sang, so I watched the game solo. And yet, I continued to date her for 4 years! I have a signed poster from a Meet the Team event in 1998. I was 14 years old and had a bowl cut in the picture I took with Marcelo Balboa.
Now I have decidedly less hair but a stronger love for local soccer, and the Rapids in particular.
At my day job, I’m a producer for a local advertising firm. It’s a living and it keeps me in season tickets, so it’s got that going for it.
I think that the Junior Board will be a good way to take some of the burden off the C38 Board. I pride myself in reaching consensus, working with people with different points of view and bettering the organizations to which I belong. I believe that C38 has moved past ‘experiment’ and into ‘here to stay’ … it’s our job to leave something behind for supporter’s culture in Colorado.
Finally, I have an unwavering dedication to the Rapids, no matter who is in the ownership box or the front office.
Greetings All! I am Chris Earley, but many of you know me simply as the Keg Kaiser! I’ve been a proud member of Centennial 38 all the way back to it’s inception (….in 2013!). Before that I was with Class VI. I have been sitting in 108 for the past 3 years missing only 3 games in that period. For the past three years I have worked with the tailgate committee, serving beers, buying supplies (Bun Runner!), and generally helping out where ever there is a need. I love the time I spend with my fellow C38′rs and have a strong desire to help us grow and improve. Outside of C38 I have quite a bit of experience organizing and running large scale events. In the past I have served as Director of Timing and Scoring for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, served as the coordinator for one the top 10 Astronomy gatherings in the U.S., the Rocky Mountain Star Stare, and served on the National Staff doe Boy Scouting’s 100th Anniversary Jamboree.
What are my priorities for C38? To provide an environment that is welcoming to all, and treats all sides fairly. To grow C38 and soccer enthusiasm in general along the Front Range without losing sight of our roots, and above all to continue to deliver the best Supporter Environment in MLS! GO RAPIDS!! WE ARE C38!
Hello my name in Daniel Reinberger I have been a fan of the rapids since I first saw them play at invesco back in 2003 And started loving it when I started watching games in the terrace in 2009 with the Pis army. I officially joined the PA in 2011 and became a season ticket holder in 1012.
I formally picked up and returned kegs from wynkoop in 2012. Last season I helped out with the tifo crew, and capo crew. Also I made sure the terrace got set up before every game and helped coordinate the tifo drops. This season will be more of the same.
I love the C38 and people in it and I would love the opportunity to make her better and continue to improve supporters culture in Denver.
Go Rapids. Fuck salt lake
My name is Levi Gibbon.
Although I am relatively new to the sport (~5 years), and the Rapids (~4 years); I am very passionate about the Rapids, and the C38 supporters group. I was introduced to the sport while in China by other foreigners who followed the sport religiously. I quickly grew to love the sport and spent most weekends discussing football over beers at the local bar. I brought that love of the game home with me, and was introduced to the Rapids and one of its supporter groups (Pid Army).
I think that as a newer fan, I can relate to other new supporters in a way that seasoned supporters may not be able to at times. Another benefit of being relatively new is that I can bring a new perspective and ideas to the table.
During my time as a Rapids supporter; I have worked on a number of tifos, helped lead chants and rev up fans, and have shown my Rapids and C38 pride whenever and wherever I get the chance. I have helped out the tailgates when a hand was needed. I have attended a number of meetings and most of the viewing parties and did not miss a single home game last year.
I’m also looking at getting more involved playing the sport very soon. I am hoping to get on a league with other C38 members. I am also on the Young Professionals Advisory Board for the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association. I would like to put together soccer events for people with Down syndrome, and I believe being on the board would make it that much easier. Regardless of my status as a supporter, I want to arrange for a group of Self Advocates (people with Down syndrome) to attend a tailgate and game later this year.
I’m always looking for more ways to get involved, and I think the Junior Board would be an excellent opportunity, and allow me to do just that. I appreciate the opportunity, and thank you for taking the time to read through this.
I am Patrick Quinn.
I have been a Rapids fan since the beginning, and active in the Colorado supporters movement for the past 10 years, dating back to when Class VI and Centennial Firm formed back in Invesco (pre-KSE, pre-DSGP, and pre-Burgundy). I have helped the group(s) I have been a part of in various capacities; including road trips, capos/drums, merchandise, tifo, and front office relations to name a few. I played a role in acquiring the terraces in Dick’s north end. I was at the first game in DSGP in 2007. I was in Toronto when we won MLS Cup in 2010. I have attended three Supporters Summits, and I know a number of people in the national movement, including people in the Independent Supporters Council.
I am currently one of Colorado’s representatives on the Committee of 10 (Rocky Mountain Cup organizing body). I have both the experience and understanding of what supporters culture means, and what kind of challenges it faces. I also like puppies, free beer, and long walks on the beach. If you elect me, I can assure you that I truly have the supporters interests at heart.
By: Vanessa Mais
Is it March 15th yet?!?! I don’t know about anyone else, but I have been talking about the Rapids upcoming season since before 2014 began. Honestly I have probably been getting on my Facebook friends’ last nerves posting things months in advance. Watching Premier League games on TV does not fulfill my first love and passion like tailgating, attending games or even watching an away game at a pub with other C38ers. And as much as I am a huge fan of the all the Colorado teams, nothing compares to my Rapids.
The first Rapids game is only 19 days away and home opener 26 days away. At first I couldn’t help but feel a little worried about what I’d like to call a small lack of direction. Coming out of last year I had a real sense of the type of team we had, and that Oscar Pareja had built the kind of team he wanted. While we underachieved in my opinion, I still felt like we had an identity and we also had a head coach.
After a few weeks of analyzing, I have come to the conclusion that while a coach is important, we have a great group of players returning. The amount of talent on the Rapids roster would make anyone be optimistic about the upcoming season. Also, I believe having Pablo Mastroeni as an interim head coach is a good thing. He knows what is like to be on the other side, and he was considered a leader and a big part of the Burgundy squad for quite some time.
Obviously one of the biggest leaders we have is our captain, Drew Moor, who happens to be my favorite player. Watching Moor play is like something out of an inspiring sports movie. His passion for the game is infectious and unmatched. He defends his teammates, coaches, and fans exactly the way you would want him to. He not only organizes his defense but he demands nothing but everyone’s best effort.
The core of our team is returning along with Rookie of the Year, Dillon Powers and runner-up, Deshorn Brown. Both are ready to take on their second season. Clint Irwin should continue his starting role in goal as well. Obviously returning our first ever designated player, Gabriel Torres is huge for us. Vincente Sanchez who came on very strong last season will be great to have back as well. I can’t forget about our two other youngsters, Chris Klute and Shane O’Neill. A pretty encouraging group if you ask me.
With lots of attacking threats in Brown, Torres, Powers, Sanchez and of course veteran Edson Buddle, I have no doubt we will be able to score goals this year. I also think we will be able to stop them with Irwin in net and a solid back line that now has a year under their belts together with Moor, Klute, O’Neill and Wynne. We have lots of options in the midfield to round out a very promising lineup.
I have never been the type to try and predict what a season will bring. I have played soccer since I was three years old and some of my most talented teams did not have the most successful seasons. Sometimes it was all about the chemistry, motivation, passion, and preparation of the team. I think chemistry will play in our favor this year. I have no doubt we are motivated and that there is a deep passion for the game. I am hopeful that our team has prepared for the upcoming season regardless of circumstances.
So what now? We scream. We chant. We support. We believe.
We believe in our team regardless of how the first game goes or the first half of the season goes. We stick by our team in the ups and downs. We realize our importance as supporters of a sport that we love. We are the 12th man and must stay true to our colors. Bleed Burgundy for life.
So let the countdown continue. I know I am ready. Are you?
By: Michael Sandoval
It was a disappointing way to end the season, with the poor refereeing, the inability to string passes together, and questionable substitutions, they all played a part in the Rapids elimination of the playoffs. The 2-0 score line might lead to you to believe Seattle dominated the game, but it wasn’t that as much as it was Colorado beating themselves.
The first goal is a testament to that as Brad Evans had no pressure on him while he collected the ball, took time to set up, and let loose a volley that beat Clint Irwin to his back post. This came in the 28th minute. Rapids fans would hope this would serve as a wake up call as Colorado had started the game rather poorly. In the 12th minute German Mera had a chance at an easy clearance but let the ball bounce past him. Lamar Neagle was able to get on the end of the lose ball and forced Irwin into a diving save early on. The first half, and much of the game, was filled with lousy passes and poor possession by the Rapids.
The second half didn’t get any better for Colorado as their passing continued to be poor. As the game went on the play got more and more physcal. The center referee of the game called a constantly bad game. Letting what seemed to be a clear foul go, yet blowing his whistle at the softest of touches. Now I understand my team lost so naturally I think the referee blew the game for us, but that is not it at all. The Rapids lost because they couldn’t keep the ball or string any passes together in the attacking third (or anywhere on the pitch for that matter), the beat themselves. The referee just made it that more frustrating to watch. The clearest example I can think of is when Hendry Thomas and DeAndre Yedlin collided Yedlin didn’t even get called for the foul. When Clint Dempsey and Irwin collided in the same manner not only did Irwin get called for a foul, he was given yellow card. It was a bizarre to see a professional referee, in the playoffs, have such a bad game. To be fair the referee did give the Rapids a chance when he awarded Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning a red card after handling the ball outside the box and then pushing Edson Buddle when he reached for the ball. Unfortunately the Rapids were unable to take advantage and let the game slip away in stoppage time as Eddie Johnson was able to double the Seattle lead.
It was a rough night for the Centennial 38 to say the least, with many having questions over a number of things. Why take out Deshorn Brown, your leading goal scorer, instead of Attiba Harris for example. I have faith in Oscar Pareja and understand he knows his team better then I do, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he faces some heavy criticism over that call. Never the less, it has been an exciting season to watch and I am proud of what the Rapids accomplished this year. With the amount of injuries they dealt with this year, and how much we relied on young players, it was an amazing feat just to make it to the playoffs. In a Western Conference which as proven to be filled with formidable teams, the Rapids continue to show they can keep up with the best of them.Details
MLS Soccer.com has done a good job of not mentioning the Rapids on their site today. A video was posted, not a single Rapids player was featured in the 15 seconds. An Article titled “Kick Off: Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids kick off MLS postseason tonight”. The Rapids get one sentence in the opening paragraph, and then it goes on to 14 other items around the playoffs.
The boys in burgundy were getting some national attention prior to the playoffs, prior to Dillon Powers ‘concussion, and Vicente Sanchez’ shoulder. They were seen as one of the most feared team to play against. That was before they laid an egg in Vancouver.
No argument that they were a team to be feared until I heard a stat that made things clear; home points compared to away points. At home the Rapids have scored 30 goals, and let in 16. Away they scored 15, and let in 22. Clearly the Rapids have a problem scoring when they are not home. Add that to the already gut wrenching stat that the Rapids have never won in Seattle and you might be able to see why the “experts” are writing off Colorado.
The Rapids are the underdogs, and the more I point out what is against us in stats or superstitions, the worse it gets. I do recall earlier in the season writing about how all season long the boys in burgundy have been beating the odds. A handful of club records have been set this year, be it an individual player, or the entire team, odds have been beaten.
Can they break the curse that haunts them in Seattle? If so, they will have to do it without Dillon Powers, and most likely Vicente Sanchez. Without getting a look at the team since Saturday, picking the starting XI is a mystery to me. The fan in me wants some change to the lineup we saw in Vancouver; but as the media guy, who has seen lineups in training that would produce results. But Coach Oscar seems to go with what he has known, so I believe that nothing will have changed. There is an attacking option that Coach Oscar has yet to use; we’ve seen bits and pieces here and there. Only one bit has been seen in a game, but the whole picture has come up in training. Anthony Wallace in the midfield, where Dillon Powers has been, and Martin Rivero out on the wing, say where Vicente Sanchez would normally be? Ponder on that for a bit, but wait that’s not all. Shane O’Neill moves out right. Because he is young, fast, and has a bit of an attacking mind. German Mera has filled Shane’s spot in the center before. I like the Idea of Diego Calderon there, but I would think Coach goes with Mera in the event that should happen.
The most important key to tonight’s match is to know that your season ends if you don’t win. As fans that are left to only hope, remember that the Rapids beat the odds all season long. If anything, that should be the momentum. The Rapids have depth; guys have stepped up when their number was called, and tonight no matter whose number gets called, feel good knowing they will be giving it their all. Tonight begins the playoffs; the almighty quest for the cup.
Predicted Starting XI: Irwin- Wynne, Moor, O’Neill, Klute. Thomas, Sturgis, LaBrocca. Brown, Buddle, Torres.Details
By: Michael Sandoval
While the results didn’t fall our way this week the Rapids still made it into the playoff and will face Seattle Wednesday night for the right to play Portland. The Rapids failed to beat Vancouver and lost their chance to jump to third place, bypassing the wild card game altogether.
A three nothing loss isn’t exactly how you want to end the regular season but the Whitecaps wanted it more in front of the home crowd and pulled off the win. In the 28th minute Edson Buddle had an opportunity to put the Rapids up with his 99th goal when he pounced on a rebound left by David Ousted. Unfortunately the Whitecaps back line was able to clear the ball off the line. In the 42nd minute Marvell Wynne committed a foul inside the box which resulted in a penalty kick converted by Camilio who was chasing for the chance to win the Golden Boot.
The second half began with the Whitecaps leading and in the 74 minute Camilio doubled the lead making him even with Mike Magee for the right to the Boot. After turning Drew Moor inside out with some great ball control Camilio calmly slotted the ball past Clint Irwin. In the 84th minute Camilio scored his 22nd goal to take the Golden Boot for himself. The goal came after a good ball from Russell Teibert.
While the result wasn’t what Colorado was looking for, they will head home determined to fix their mistakes and get ready for the wild card game on Wednesday in Seattle. After being beaten badly last time the two teams met I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sounders go into that match with a chip on their shouldersDetails
One topic of conversation around Rapids camp is why would MLS schedule makers split up the final weekend over two days? Granted, a few months before the season started no one was able to predict what teams were going to do what. Unless you’re a Rapids fan, and your team has had its playoff hopes come down to the final weekend almost every year. After Saturdays Portland Timbers win over a worthless Chivas USA, the Rapids now only have five scenarios for the playoffs.
Best case, the boys in burgundy can finish 3rd, and host Real Salt Lake (yeah that’s comforting) for the Western Conference Semifinal with a win in Vancouver and a tie between LA and Seattle. Worse case, finish 5th and visit LA for a knockout match. For that to happen the Rapids have to lose or tie today, and Seattle beats LA.
The spectrum is too close; both of those are very possible. What is out of the hands of the Rapids should not be in their focus or thoughts at all today. The Rapids and it’s fans cannot rely on Seattle or LA, and be warned the Rapids starting XI won’t be the same.
Even though both Dillon Powers and Vicente Sanchez traveled to Vancouver, I believe the move was made in case they have to turn around and play on Thursday or Wednesday. With it being official that the Rapids are in the playoffs, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Coach Oscar left the two on the bench today. There is a chance we could see some guys on the pitch we haven’t seen much of this year.
With Martin Rivero’s contract in negotiations, this could be a good chance for him to step up, if given the chance due to Vicente’s absence. Anthony Wallace has been given looks in the midfield as of late, and don’t be surprised if we see him on Sunday. Coach Oscar has relied a lot on Nick LaBrocca for midfield situations where he needs an active attacking midfielder and despite what I think, he may just fall back to using him today.
Ideally the Rapids need to win. A win will ensure them 4th place, possibly 3rd. Then we wait for the results of the LA v Seattle game which will determine whether or not the Rapids host RSL, LA, or Seattle. A tie or loss to Vancouver will only make the road to the cup much more difficult. Be assured the coaching staff is already thinking ahead, so some players may get some rest, but that doesn’t mean they are not focused on 3 points.
Predicted starting XI – Irwin, Wynne, Moor, O’Neill, Klute. Thomas, Sturgis, Wallace. Rivero, Torres, Brown.Details
By: Michael Sandoval
With the last two games of the regular season against a team who was right behind you in the standings it’s safe to say the playoffs have already started for Colorado. Before the game on Saturday the Rapids were sitting at 48 points while the Whitecaps sat at 45. A win by the Whitecaps would have put them level on points and give them a tie for the fifth and final playoff spot in the west. However, Colorado took care of business on their home turf and walked away with all three points after a beautiful strike from Gabriel Torres.
After Deshorn Brown missed a chance opening the scoring off a breakaway, the Whitecaps took the lead in the 32nd minute off a wonder strike from Kekuta Manneh. The 18 year old collected the ball about 25 yards from the goal, saw no one was stepping up to him, and let go a gorgeous shot which found the top corner. Eight minute later, the Rapids caught a break as the referee awarded them a penalty kick after Drew Moor was pulled down inside the box. Torres took the PK and slotted it past a diving David Ousted to even the gam up at one goal apiece.
The second half what a heart pounding ordeal for the sellout crowd watching at Dick Sporting Goods Park. Colorado was able to take their first lead of the game in the 51st minute. Brown, making up for his earlier miss, was able to run onto a Clint Irwin goal kick which somehow found a way to bounce over everyone’s head. Once he was free Brown was able to chip the bouncing ball over the goal keeper Ousted for the lead. Unfortunately this lead would not hold for long and in the 74th minute the Whitecaps got a penalty kick of their own as Shane O’Neill’s sliding challenge took out Jordan Harvey while he was streaking toward net. Irwin did pick the right side but Camilo Sanvezzo’s shot was hard and low, giving Irwin no chance at the save. For a few minutes it looked bleak for Rapids fan throughout the stadium but the Panamanian striker had his fill of disappoint this week and made sure he, nor his team, would feel that sting this game. Torres was played the ball right outside the corner of the eighteen yard box, made a quick cut, and let loose a cannon. The ball had a tremendous amount of curve on it and bent its way into the top corner, bouncing off both the upright and the post before settling into the net.
With this win, and a scoreless draw from San Jose, the Rapids are all but certain a playoff spot. The one scenario that would see them out of the playoffs consists of the Earthquakes winning 12-0 in their last game…like that will ever happen. However, on the other side, the Rapids could finish as high as first place in the west with the right results. They sit at 51 points as does Seattle. The LA Galaxy sit at third with 52, FSL in second with 53, and Portland in first (who saw that coming?) with 54. Unlike most soccer competitions, the number of wins is the tie breaker in the MLS (that’s why Seattle sit at fourth since they have 15 wins and we have 14) not goal differential. The Galaxy and the Sounders play each other this week so with a win the Rapids would leap frog over one of those two teams and at least take fourth place, guaranteeing them a home playoff game. Now, if the Galaxy and the Sounders tie, plus a Rapids win, Colorado could take third and by pass the wild card game all together (Rapids 54, Galaxy 53, Sounders 52). Wednesday night, FLS play the Goats and say Chivas can pull off the upset and win, with the results I mentioned above, the Rapids could take second (Rapids 54, FLS 53). With all the results I stated above, and the Timbers also losing to the Goats on Saturday, the Rapids would take first. Both teams would have 54 points, but the Rapids would have the tie breaker with 15 wins to their 13. Now I understand this is all a long shot, but it makes every game in the last week of regular season worth something. Not very often to you see a season come down to the last game and have so many teams being affected by it. The Rapids finish off their regular season in Vancouver where a result could turn things really magical in Colorado. I would like to end this post-game with a congratulations to the players, coaches, and staff of our beloved club for getting to 51 points in a season, a new club record. Way to stay competitive in the brutal western conference.Details
There was a chant we sang in Kansas City while rooting on the US Men’s National team that I feel we should use today. All it takes is one person to lead, and a few others to follow, and before you know it 18K strong will chant 6 simple words – I believe that we will win. To do this chant all you need to know is; I. I believe. I believe that. I believe that we. I believe that we will win. With 18K strong chanting it, and believing it, it’s hard to think that the eleven guys on the pitch would not be motivated just a little bit more to put the ball in the net.
Not to mention that this is another year where the fate of the clubs presence in the playoffs comes down to the final game or two. At least it’s not against Real Salt Lake, but the odds still do not play to the Rapids favor. Rookie of the year candidate Dillon Powers is likely to miss this game due to lingering symptoms from a concussion. Both Gaby Torres and Deshorn Brown missed half the week due to international duty and their involvement in today’s match is only known to Oscar Pereja. Coach Oscar did comment “they are young” when asked if it was an issue with them missing a few days of training.
So with the uncertainties in the lineup, the next man up system will have us scrambling to see who will fill the key spots on the pitch. Nick LaBrocca seems to be Coach Oscar’s pick for next man up to fill the Dillon Powers role. Another option, one I was impressed with was Anthony Wallace, either Wally or Nick will get the start, but Martin Rivero should still be in the first team eighteen. Rivero may be the second option on the wing; Atiba Harris is still nursing an ankle injury. Buddle will start if Torres does not. Although it’s just an opinion, I see Buddle performing better at the end of the match when defenses are tired.
Believing that we will win also comes with knowing that we NEED to win. San Jose (47pts) sits below the Rapids (48pts) in sixth place. LA and Seattle have 51 points, meaning that even with the win we won’t be going up the table. The win will only keep us one point ahead of San Jose, and put us in a tie with Seattle or LA, depending on how they play. As far as how or where we can place scenarios, none of that matters if the Rapids can’t pick up a win today. We can question The Don, and MLS schedule makers later, but today we must focus and believe we will win.
Tonight’s match is sold out, it’s fan appreciation night, and the boys in burgundy are itching for a big result. Let’s bring the cheer, be the atmosphere, show our boys what the playoffs are like around here.
Predicted Starting XI: Irwin- Wynne, Moor, O’Neill, Klute. Thomas, Sturgis, LaBrocca. Sanchez, Torres, Brown.
By: Michael Sandoval
It has to be said, that was a boring game to watch. After coming off a spectacular thrashing of Seattle, Rapids fans were excited to see some mid week action in a game which could have sealed a playoff spot for us with a win and some help from around the league. However, Colorado got caught up in San Jose’s style of boom ball and never controlled the pace of the game. To make matter worse the Vancouver Whitecaps put a beat down on the Sounders and moved even closer to the Rapids and that final playoff spot.
The Earthquakes came out with that old English style of football which the Rapids use to play back when Gary Smith was the head coach. While the style can be effective (2010 champs baby!) it is not the most attractive style of soccer to watch. This game was a testament to that. Alan Gordon got off a few good headers in the first half, beating the offsides trap on several occasions. While most of his efforts sailed wide one did clink off the post in the 9th minute when he beat his mark, Drew Moor, off a corner kick. The Rapids best chance off the game came in the 19th minute when Edson Buddle managed to drive in a cross which found Vicente Sanchez. Sanchez was able to keep the header down but sent it just wide of Jon Busch’s net. The half ended with both teams tied at zero with neither goalkeeper really being tested.
Early in the second half Shane O’Neil made a rare mistake which allowed Chris Wondolowski into the Rapids eighteen with practically no resistance. Fortunately, Wondolowski was unable to get a clean shot off and hit the ball straight into Clint Irwin who stood his ground well. In the 64th minute it was Moor who came up big with not just one, but two great saves. Wondo gathered a cross inside the eighteen with just Irwin to beat. He slotted the ball past Irwin put Moor was able to make a sliding save on the goal line. The rebound fell right to Gordon whose shot was also saved by Moor while still on the ground. Minutes later Wondo got another chance to score off a San Jose free kick. The Earthquakes took the kick quicker than the Rapids were expecting and the cross found Wondolowksi unmarked who forced Irwin to an amazing diving save which could very well be a contender for Save of the Week. Unfortunately on the ensuing corner Wondo did finally manage to beat Irwin when he was able to push off his mark and easily directed the ball into the back of the net.
Colorado was never able to find any real offense throughout the match and never force Busch into any real saves. Oscar Pareja, who was interviewed after the game, said he was “sad for soccer.” A truer statement could not have been made for this lack luster game. While San Jose did eke out a result it was far from pretty. I know at the tail of the season it doesn’t matter how you win just that you win because this is a result oriented business, but if no one’s watches the games, there will be no game to play. San Jose’s current philosophy may get them to the playoffs (I highly doubt it) but they won’t get a lot of respect around the league for the way they do it. Just ask those who won the 2010 MLS Cup. After that season no one really gave the Rapids the respect champions deserve and just one season after leading them to the Cup, Gary Smith was let go. With only two games left, both against close trailing Vancouver, the Rapids need to finish the regular season strong in order to make the playoffs. The Whitecaps are only three points behind so to lose both games would guarantee the Rapids season will be over on October 27th.Details
Who wants to get revenge for the last time the Rapids played San Jose, and clinch a playoff berth at the same time? That’s right, we can do both tonight. The last match against San Jose was at home, and we saw our boys in burgundy go down a man before a third of the match was completed. The result was 2-1 San Jose, and though our boys hung on as best they could, the squad looks a bit different today, and the focus has changed.
Although the Rapids will be without the services of Deshorn Brown, and Gaby Torres due to international duty, they will have Vicente Sanchez, and Shane O’Neill who also wasn’t available the last time we played San Jose. It’s no secret both those players presence on the pitch does a lot of good for the Rapids. Vicente’s ability to be everywhere, and his natural playmaking ability has been a big spark in the atmosphere on the field, everyone’s giving it 110%. With Shane O’Neill, it is more behind the scenes, after all the Rapids have only lost once when he has started a match. Not to mention his consistency and positioning are crucial part of that solid back four. He is solid just about anywhere on the pitch, and the more chances he gets, the more we get to see it.
Now, with Deshorn, and Gabby out of the lineup for tonight’s match, we can expect to see the return of Atiba Harris, and Edson Buddle. Edson has had a good history against San Jose, and we can hope he will get himself closer to that 100th goal. Dillon Powers was a late addition to the injury list and is listed out for tonight’s match. The next man up here should be Martin Rivero. San Jose is without Steven Lenhart because of a suspension. Victor Bernardez and Marvin Chavez are out on international duty, so the Quakes will be playing with a few fresh faces too.
San Jose is itching for the last playoff spot sitting in sixth place with 44 points, and the Rapids in a tie with LA for 4th with 48 points. The battle has begun for the playoff run; putting an X next to the Rapids name in the standings would be great. Revenge for the last match would be the cherry on the cake.
Predicted Starting XI Irwin- Wynne, Moor, O’Neill, Klute. Thomas, Sturgis, Rivero. Harris, Buddle, Sanchez.Details