Rejoice! The new season is upon us. With just two weeks left, the Rapids will begin play in the twenty-fifth season of Major League Soccer when they go to the nation’s capital to face D.C United. With much of the roster upgraded and with the team under the direction of Robin Fraser, the Rapids look to make the playoffs after a three-year absence.
Fan favorites like assist king Jack Price, the goalscoring duo of Diego Rubio and Kei Kamara, and the brick wall of Lalas Abubakar will join new faces like the quick-footed Nicolas Benezet, the up-and-coming Auston Trusty, and the club’s newest designated player Younes Namli. On paper, the Rapids look to be a dark horse contender amidst other teams with their Chicharitos, their Velas, and their Pulidos.
Here at Rapids Republic, I want to give you some hot but measurable takes about the Rapids with a hint of a “wait, what?” aftertaste. That’s why I, Juanners, the Resident Rapids Soccer Seer™, am going to make some 2020 season predictions. LET’S BEGIN.
1. Lukewarm Start
As much as I would like the Rapids to start off firing on all cylinders, the first few matches will be “meh”. I can see it now, the Rapids are in second to last place with few points and the haters will say the old line, “Same shit, different year.” Everyone will groan and become negative, as is tradition!
I predict the Rapids will go one win, three draws, and one loss, beginning the season with a paltry six points from five matches. A little sub-prediction: the Rapids will fail to beat Orlando City, extending their winless streak against the Lions. The Rapids won’t see their first victory until they face Vancouver in their third game of the season (third time’s always the charm).
2. The Rapids will score more than 58 goals.
Last year, the Rapids scored a lot of goals; 58 to be exact. I don’t see that changing this year and while I don’t think they’ll be scoring as much as LAFC, they will still finish within the top five of the Western Conference when all is said and done.
3. Diego Rubio will score more than 15 goals
Speaking of scoring goals, Colorado have a lethal goal scorer named Diego Rubio who is undoubtedly one of the most talented finishers that has ever played for the Burgundy and Blue. I predict that he will be the club’s leading goal scorer, notching more than fifteen on the season.
4. The Rapids will make the Playoffs
This has been the season many fans have been looking forward to: all the pieces are finally in place. This team has been assembled very well and it’s probably the most talented Colorado squad in the last decade. With all the talent, build up, and hype, there’s no way this team misses the playoffs. If they do, some serious questions are going to be asked of the Front Office.
5. Snow Clasico IV
Yes, the dreaded snow will be back to make our commute to the game much more terrible than it has to be and the ball will be orange and the beers will freeze over. We’ve been through this before and if you don’t think that another Snow Clasico is on the horizon you’re kidding yourself. Mother Nature, bring it on!
6. Wind Clasico
Wait… Wind Clasico? That’s right. The Rapids play in Commerce City where the wind can get scary. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a memorable wind game in good ol’ Dick’s Sporting Goods Park with gusty blasts affecting the play happening on the field. What’s to say this isn’t the first year it’ll happen?
7. The 4th of July Fireworks will be delayed
For a second year in a row, due to inclement weather, bubonic plague, or a fire (take your pick), the fireworks show that everyone and their moms love will be postponed. I will sit there, basking in sweet schadenfreude as the families who paid good money to see fireworks instead of the Rapids now must spend their evening elsewhere. In all that traffic after the game. Miserably returning to their homes. Deprived of fireworks. My heart goes out to you, random family.
8. Liga MX Team Friendly
Because that’s how you make money folks. This year the Rapids will face off against a club from south of the border. If the club couldn’t sign a Mexican player to tap into that market, then a match against say a club like Tigres, Cruz Azul, or Chivas would do the trick.
9. Undefeated* in July
The Rapids will win every single game in July. No real rationale behind this to be honest. The Rapids have just always been relatively hot in July. With a total of five games, the Rapids will earn fifteen points from those total!
*Okay, maybe unbeaten – let’s say eleven or thirteen points.
10. Ten-Goal Thriller
Last year the Rapids had themselves a nine-goal-game thriller against Montreal. This year, one random team (I’m not sure who to be honest) will visit Colorado and the two teams will produce a ten-goal-game thriller that leaves the fans in a roller coaster of emotions.
11. The Rapids will sweep both LA teams
Last season, the Rapids beat the LA teams three times and lost away to LAFC. This year, the Rapids will sweep both teams and once again be the sole owners of Los Angeles.
12. The Altitude dispute will finally conclude
They haven’t caved yet, but sometime within the year Dish and Comcast will lose this fight and Mr. Stan Kroenke will look up the sky, laugh maniacally, and bask in his villionaire lifestyle. In the end, Stan always gets what he wants.
13. The Rapids will break the Rio Tinto Curse
Every year, the fire and burning desire to win in the worst state in the U.S., inside the home of the worst supporters in the league, in the cursed stinkhole of a stadium that is Rio Tinto; grows every year only to have it be extinguished by the everlasting curse that has plagued this club. Well, no more. This year the curse will be broken. (After we use someone as a sacrificial offering to the Soccer Gods of course. Any one volunteer as tribute?) This breaking of the curse will eventually lead to…
14. It’s Coming Home
The Rocky Mountain Cup will come back to the right side of the Rocky Mountains and will be cared for more than it has been on the other side. Get your hopes up ladies and gents, It’s Coming Home.
15. The Rapids will sign at least two Homegrown players
With a wealth of young players in the academy and in the Springs, the club is bound to continue to grow the homegrown pipeline. If there was an over/under number, I’d say at least two with there being potential for more. While most if not all additions will be stashed in the Springs, I do think there could be opportunity for some of the younger talent to shine in the year to come.
16. Abdul Rwatubayaye will play in MLS
After an impressive showing in the Springs, it’s time to give Rwatubayaye a shot at some MLS minutes. While it looks like Trusty and Abubakar will be the main two in the back, there is always the chance that they will be rested for a midweek game. In comes Rwatubayaye to take his chance.
17. Sam Vines will have a big year
The left back from Colorado Springs had himself a pretty good season last year. He even managed to put Carlos Vela in his pocket forcing him to play as a center forward. If you thought last year was good, this year will be the year he really makes a name for himself. And when all is said and done, he will be the biggest export for this Colorado team and prove that the club CAN produce quality talent.
18. Danny Wilson will quietly sneak his way into the Starting XI
I know many of you aren’t big Wilson fans, but I must admit, I do quite like him as a center defensive midfielder. I was very impressed with his ability to clear the ball against Atlanta in that position and I think he and Jack Price will anchor that midfield in the latter half of the season. Okay, you can start your pitchforks up again, crucify, and then offer me as a sacrificial offering to the Soccer Gods, but this is what hot takes are for. If you can’t take them, then don’t bother!
19. The Braian Galván Experiment Will Start Awkwardly
I don’t know how drastic the switch from Santa Fe, Argentina to Commerce City, Colorado for a nineteen-year-old is, but you’ve got to imagine it is not as smooth as anyone could hope for. I think Galvan will struggle for just a little bit in his first few months with the Rapids and then slowly and surely start to gain some momentum leading into the playoffs.
20. The Rapids will win MLS Cup 2020.
These predictions have finally gotten out of hand (if they haven’t already), BUT I so desperately want to be the “I TOLD YOU SO” person when the Rapids win the cup. I believe deeply in my heart that they can do it and you can’t write a script better than this: Ten years after their first cup win, Colorado win their second on the league’s 25th Anniversary. This dark horse pick will remind us once more why the “S” in MLS stands for “silly”
So, there they are. 20 predictions for the Colorado Rapids 2020 season. Bold? Yes. Crazy? Possibly. Hot takes? You bet! There is a different sort of feeling to this season that is palpable and exciting to go through. You just can’t help but feel optimistic about this team. When all is said and done, we will look back to this article to see how much I predicted correctly. Anything more than ten and you can’t deny that my 50% success rate at predictions is enough to coin me the “Double R, Double S: Resident Rapids Soccer Seer™.”
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons