The Rapids are scoring goals this season. A lot of goals. Through seven games this season, the Rapids have scored 12 goals. This is the most through seven games since 1999.
Along with scoring a lot of goals, one major sign of sustainability and encouragement going forward is how they’re scoring the goals. The Rapids are scoring off set pieces, through build-up play and off counter attacks, and their 1.71 goals per game are the fourth-most in MLS this season.
Specifically on counter attacks, mlssoccer.com dug up a telling stat about the squad’s ruthlessness when turning over possession and running downhill. The Rapids have a 0.371 xG (expected goals) per 90 minutes on counter attacks. This is second best in the entire league, behind only the San Jose Earthquakes.
To be successful on counter attacks requires multiple moving pieces to be in sync simultaneously and then somebody to finish it off. First, the team has to all be on the same page before they press. Then they have to close outlets, win the ball back and get forward into dangerous areas. The last part, the hardest thing to do in soccer, is score the goal.
It’s illuminating that the Rapids are finding so much success when turning opponents over and moving downfield. It demonstrates how this team can find attacking success in myriad ways. Some games aren’t pretty, some defenses in this league are really good, some days just aren’t your day. But even when all these circumstances may be going against the Rapids, they’ve beeb able to reach into the quiver for a new attacking arrow.
On top of the diversity of ways to create attacking chances, the Rapids also have diversity in who is creating and finishing the attack. Eight players are responsible for the team’s 11 offensive goals and six players have picked up assists.
On their home field, if there’s one thing you can count on when heading to DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, something nearly as reliable as seeing C38 or postgame fireworks on the Fourth of July, it’s that the Colorado Rapids will probably put the ball in the back of the net. The Rapids have scored in 28 consecutive MLS matches on their home turf, the longest active home scoring streak in the league.
All the stats and all the eye tests agree that the Rapids are growing into one of the most lethal teams in front of goal in the last few years. Their potency is varied in types of attack and the squad is brimming with guys who have the confidence to score. Combining these together creates the offense we’re seeing. All signs point to an electric summer overflowing with knee slides and dog piles.