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Optimism is not enough

November 2, 2011 | 8:01 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

The Denver Broncos are not the only recipients of the unbridled optimism of Colorado sports fans and writers.

Trailing Kansas City 2-0 on aggregate when they take the field tonight at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas, the Colorado Rapids have suddenly become the beneficiaries of miraculous hopes for improbable outcomes.

In carefully detailing past comebacks in the playoffs, the team Web site leaves little doubt that the Rapids could reverse that margin and even produce a three-goal margin of victory to take the series outright. The Denver Post then followed up today, with comparisons to a San Jose battle back from a 4-0 deficit.

It’s all very inspiring.

And it’s not going to happen.

Just like the Broncos are no closer to returning to the Super Bowl this season or next, regardless of who is the quarterback, the Rapids don’t have the team needed to take out Sporting KC.

No Firepower: The Rapids are a good team with enough injuries to take out a great side. Six of the starters from the 2010 MLS Cup victory will be absent tonight. Even with most of the roster intact, Colorado has lacked firepower all season.

In 34 MLS games the Rapids managed more than two goals in a game four times. Colorado hasn’t put more than two in the net in an MLS game since July 20, when Sanna Nyassi and Omar Cummings revealed how slow the New York Red Bulls central defenders are in a 4-1 rout.

In the past three months, the Rapids own only one victory by a two-goal margin in MLS play. Admittedly, the Rapids played a brilliant game in beating the Columbus Crew 2-0 on Aug. 5, 11 MLS matches ago, but that was 11 matches ago.

Reason to Believe: The only cause for hope is the team’s 3-1 victory over Isidro Metapan in CONCACAF Champions League play on Sept. 28, and the presence of Nyassi and Cummings on the pitch tonight.

There is hope because the side that beat Metapan was almost entirely made up of reserves, similar to the squad that will take the pitch tonight. The other hope comes in the chance that Nyassi and Cummings may be the starting forwards tonight. If so, their combined speed may be enough to spring a surprise.

Final Score: There’s hope, but that’s not enough. Colorado has 90 minutes left in its season. I see the team running out of time tonight.

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