From a Fan to a Fan
Chivas USA intern Gabe Dahl, a self-described soccer junkie, sees some very encouraging parallels between Chivas USA, FC Dallas and the 2010 MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids.
Now that MLS Cup has finished, it’s time for teams to start looking forward to next season. For fans of each team, there is plenty of reason for optimism. Because of the nature of the playoffs, and strict salary cap rules, MLS has always been a league with true parity. Each season, every team has a real chance to win the Cup.
The two participants of MLS Cup should be a source of inspiration for next year’s Goats. Neither FC Dallas nor 2010 champions Colorado Rapids made the playoffs last season. Yet this year both had solid campaigns, made it into the postseason, and simply got hot at the right time.
Chivas USA should take particular notice of how the Rapids rose from a playoff outsider to MLS Champions in one year. After the 2009 season ended with the Rapids missing the postseason for the third consecutive year, they made a few changes. They brought in some new players like Jeff Larentowicz before the season, and Macoumba Kandji and Anthony Wallace during the year.
But while other teams splashed for huge signings, the Rapids strived to build a true team consisting of solid players and depth, but no huge stars. This has proven to be the strategy that works in MLS, as we have yet to see a Designated Player lift the MLS Cup trophy.
So while this season’s untimely end was disappointing for fans of the Red-and-White, there is no reason to be disheartened. The team has most of the right pieces already in place: a solid core of experienced veterans, as well as one of the best collections of young players in MLS.
With a new head coach on the way, some new players likely coming in, a hardworking attitude and a bit of luck, anything could happen next year- even a trip to the MLS Cup. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Colorado Rapids.