COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Over the course of a lengthy season, good and bad trends inevitably develop for every team.
But it’s rare to carry over the same trends from season to season, especially if there's been a near-complete offseason makeover.
Just don't tell that to the 2013 Colorado Rapids. Because so far, it's a bit of a sore spot.
“It’s a pain in the [butt],” head coach Oscar Pareja told reporters this week. “We need to score goals. It seems to me that the speech is the same. … I don’t want to say the same thing, but the boys played well. We need a little bit more urgency. A little bit more determination in the last third.”
The Rapids head to Salt Lake City on Saturday for the opening leg of the Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup (6 pm ET, watch on MLS Live) in dire need of points and a shot of confidence after a frustrating opening fortnight of the season.
Despite dominating possession (more than 60 percent in losses to FC Dallas and Philadelphia) and tempo in each of their first two games, the Rapids only have a single goal to show for their statistical dominance. Rookie striker Deshorn Brown has struggled with his final touch in front of net, and changes could be coming to Pareja’s strikeforce as a result.
“We don’t score goals,” Pareja said. “We’re always chasing the game from behind because we’re not concentrating in the back with stupid things like a corner, something that you can control, and then here we go again. It’s part of the game because that’s part of the game. But the big thing is we need to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Meanwhile, Pablo Mastroeni confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Friday that he won’t travel with the team due to a left hamstring injury that he suffered in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Union. Striker Edson Buddle, however, will travel but is unlikely to play as he continues to recover from fluid buildup in his right knee. Matt Pickens (lower leg soreness) is expected to start for the second straight week after missing the season opener.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.