The 2014 MLS season was a tough season for the Colorado Rapids and their fans. The disappointment from the end of the season bleeds into 2015 when Colorado was unable to score in their first four games. Then in the fifth game of the season the team exploded for four goals. Fans have been clamoring about the need to get rid of head coach Pablo Mastroeni and his now infamous mustache. But, when looking at the results of 2015, and past coaches in similar circumstances, Pablo may seem to be the right man for the job in the end.
Looking back to the 2013 season, Head Coach Oscar Pareja entered his second season at the helm of Colorado. In the off-season the team let go of multiple veteran players including the top two scorers from the previous few years. Colorado was Pareja’s first head coaching position and it took him a season of ineffective coaching to truly form his style. 2013 ended up as the best regular season the Rapids have ever had, but it started out very shaky.
Over the first five games of the 2013 season the Rapids scored four goals but had a record of 0-3-2 and just two points. The 2013 team featured two rookies who would vie for MLS rookie of the year, Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers. Multiple new faces were featured including former All Star Edson Buddle and rookie Clint Irwin. The 2013 Rapids would eventually gel as a team and finish the regular season with 51 points, the most in the teams’ history.
2014 ended horrifically for the Colorado Rapids with a 14 game winless streak and scoring just two points in that span. The other big problem that plagued Colorado at the end of last season was scoring. The Rapids ended the season on a 240-minute scoreless streak. That streak was bumped up to 600 minutes when they were unable to score in their first four games of 2015.
The similarities between Pareja’s 2013 team and Mastroeni’s 2015 are very similar. Both teams had huge turnover in talent. Both teams’ best scorers were/are gone. Both squads put in four goals in the first four games. The biggest difference is the record of each team. In 2013 the team started 0-3-2 in the first five games and 2015 the Rapids have started 1-1-3 with six total points.
Despite the fact that the team is actually in a better position, so far, then they were at the same point in the best regular season in team history; fans still are up in arms over Pablo and the direction of the team. While this is a small sample size, it is interesting at the same time.
Can the team put everything together in the same way as the 2013 team did? That is yet to be determined. The defense has already shown that they are much improved over 2014. The team has only given up two goals, even though they have not had any consistency in their defensive starting lineup.
The midfield has also shown to have improved over the 2014 season. With many new faces including Marcelo Sarvas, Juan Ramirez, and Sam Cronin. These new faces along with former rookie of the year Dillon Powers have solidified one of the weakest areas of the 2014 team.
Scoring is still an issue for the 2015 team. Although they have the same number of goals through five games as the 2013 team, this year’s team scored all four of their goals in one game. Can Colorado keep their newfound scoring prowess going into their next few games? We will see Saturday when they take on the Seattle Sounders.