Sputtering offense still a sore spot for Colorado
The Colorado Rapids might have their postseason berth secured, but it’s anyone’s guess how far their offense can take them from here.
The Rapids have scored only eight goals in their last 10 matches in all competitions, and three of those came in the win by a largely reserve team over Isidro Metapán in the CONCACAF Champions Legaue in El Salvador on Sept. 28.
Apart from that game, they have failed to score more than one goal in any one game in their last 10, and Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Santos Laguna in the CCL group-stage finale proved that offensive firepower is simply something the club lacks heading into the playoffs.
“If we had had a little more quality in the final third tonight, it’s a different story,” defender Drew Moor told MLSsoccer.com by phone from Mexico after the match. “That seems to be the bug we need to get out of our system. We have some world class scorers on our side, and we need them to do that.”
Once again, the lack of consistent goal scoring comes down largely to the inability of the Omar Cummings and Conor Casey partnership to flourish this year like it did in 2010, and for their replacements to consistently step up and take charge offensively.
The duo, who netted 27 goals between them last season on the road to MLS Cup, has barely been on the field together this year. Cummings, who has just three MLS goals all year, was out injured for much of May and June just before Casey went down with a season ending injury mid-July.
Casey’s injury allowed Sanna Nyassi an opportunity to play as a withdrawn striker behind Cummings or Caleb Folan, and he initially grabbed it with big hands with a hat-trick in the Rapids’ dominant performance at home over the New York Red Bulls July 20.
But the goals from all sources have dried up significantly since the end of August, and it’s causing some concern.
“If you look at the guys in the past that we have relied on, Omar is going through a lean period and Conor is unavailable,” head coach Gary Smith told MLSsoccer.com. “We have to find a solution to that and they have got to find their scoring boots, to be honest.”
The Rapids head back early to Colorado from Mexico on Thursday before traveling Friday to Vancouver for the final MLS regular-season game on Saturday afternoon against the Whitecaps.