The home fans rose to the occasion
17,424 fans packed DICK’S Sporting Goods Park to witness the start of the 23rd home MLS campaign in club history and were treated to a thrilling match. They’ll be left wanting more after a stoppage time goal from Sporting’s Diego Rubio saw the sides split the points, but two goals from the Rapids in the first eight minutes provided the fans with a glimpse of how this team wants to approach games in front of the home fans. Press the opponent, make them feel the altitude and force the visitors to play from behind while dealing with the thin air. It was a blustery March night but C38 and all the fans brought their ‘A’ game and it was a (mostly) positive start to the home campaign.
Badji’s opener was a thing of beauty
Before the sellout crowd had a chance to settle in, the Rapids raced to the lead thanks to Dominique Badji’sfirst goal of 2018. The vision from Jack Price to find Edgar Castillo, the cross from Castillo that froze KC ‘keeper Tim Melia on his line, the calm finish from Badji. All three were world-class. It was a dream start to introduce the fans to the 2018 Rapids and had Peter Vermes’ side searching for answers early. The goal also marks a great start personally for Badji who seems locked in and primed for double-digit goals this season.
This team will learn (a lot) from the first two results
Two games and two thrilling results for the wrong team. If you replay the last few minutes of those games out 100 times, Anthony Hudson’s men probably have 4 more points (and a total of 5) in the bank for atleast 95 out of those 100 outcomes. It’s a cruel game sometimes, and it's easy to look back and ask 'what if'. But Sporting were the better team in the second half on Saturday night and the home side didn’t shut the door when they had the chance.
"Similar feeling against New England. We are disappointed, but again this is a process in the sense of so many new players. It is still another step in the right direction," a disappointed Hudson said after the match.
The gaffer is right, and he understands this transformation isn’t going to take hold over night. It happens over time. It happens every day in training. It happens on road trips and is built by the endless banter as new teammates become old friends. It also happens in character-building outcomes like those against Sporting KC.