The five-game losing streak the Colorado Rapids are currently on doesn’t exactly inspire belief in the club for their concerned fan base. Neither does the fact that the team has scored a measly five goals in eight games played this season, or the fact that they are currently dead last in the league standings. However, Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni believes that the team is a lot closer to success than many think.
“At this moment it’s tough for the group,” Mastroeni said after the loss against the Vancouver Whitecaps. “You need a break. You need something to go your way so it opens it up so that you feel more confident taking people on and playing more vertically.”
The Rapids’ 1-0 loss to the Whitecaps on Cinco de Mayo was the third straight game in which they were held scoreless. They also managed only one shot on goal for the second straight game. There were some positives. The Rapids’ 2016 leading scorer Shkelzen Gashi, who was praised after the game by Mastroeni as having played his best game as a Rapid, played the entire 90 minutes for the first time this season and continuously pressured the Whitecaps’ defense. He was harassing on defense and dangerous on offense. He was the only Rapid to put a shot on goal and tried to find the back of the net an additional four times. He played very aggressively, but most of his shots came from outside of the penalty area.
Yet none of Gashi or any of his teammates’ shots have found the back of the net in what seems like ages. Mastroeni thinks that the confidence that just one goal will bring will do wonders for the club.
“We need one goal to go our way in order for things to start happening,” he said. “It’s chicken or the egg. Is it your energy in your football that creates that? Usually it is, yes. Again, I think we’re putting ourselves in good spots, it’s just that being opportunistic is a confidence thing and at the moment we just lack that.”
Rookie defender Kortne Ford echoed his coach’s sentiment.
“I think we’re getting a little unlucky,” Ford said. “I do think once we get one win under our belt we’re going to start piling up the wins and we’re going to turn the season around.”
Will that turnaround begin this Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes? It’s possible, but the Earthquakes are currently sitting in fifth place in the western conference and are playing pretty good defense. They’re only allowing one goal per game, and with the Rapids’ paltry attack, it could prove difficult to break the scoring drought. The good news, according to striker Alan Gordon, is that this team will never give in.
“We can’t give up, we won’t give up. That’s the type of group we’ve got,” Gordon said.