EDITORIAL – The 2019 Colorado Rapids schedule has been released, as has the entire 2019 MLS regular season schedule. The Pids will play in the first game of the entire season on February 29th at D.C. United. On Decision Day, they will be at San Jose Earthquakes.
2019 Colorado Rapids Schedule: XI Thoughts
Here is the entire 2019 Colorado Rapids regular season schedule:
Sat., Feb 29 @ D.C. United 11:00 AM
Sat., March 7 vs Orlando City SC 7:00 PM
Sat., March 14 @ Vancouver Whitecap FC 5:00 PM
Sat., March 21 vs Houston Dynamo 7:00 PM
Sat., April 4 @ New England Revolution 5:30 PM
Sat., April 11 @ Real Salt Lake 7:00 PM
Wed., April 15 vs San Jose Earthquakes 7:00 PM
Sat., April 18 @ Sporting Kansas City 6:30 PM
Sat., April 25 vs FC Dallas 7:00 AM
Sat., May 2 @ Minnesota United FC 6:00 PM
Wed., May 6 vs LA Galaxy 7:00 PM
Sat., May 9 @ Seattle Sounders FC 8:00 PM
Sat., May 16 @ New York City FC 5:00 PM
Sat., May 23 vs Philadelphia Union 7:00 PM
Sun., May 31 @ Montreal Impact 11:00 AM
Sat., June 13 vs LAFC 7:00 PM
Wed., Jun 17 @ Portland Timbers 8:30 PM
Sat., June 20 vs Toronto FC 7:00 PM
Sat., June 27 @ Houston Dynamo 6:30 PM
Sat., July 4 vs New York Red Bulls 8:00 PM
Wed., July 8 @ LAFC 8:30 PM
Sat., July 11 vs Portland Timbers 7:00 PM
Sat., July 18 vs Chicago Fire 7:00 PM
Sat., July 25 @ Columbus Crew SC 5:30 PM
Sat., August 1 vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC 8:00 PM
Sun., August 9 vs Nashville SC 7:00 PM
Sat., August 15 @ FC Dallas 6:30 PM
Sat., August 22 vs Real Salt Lake 7:00 PM
Sat., August 29 vs Minnesota United FC 7:00 PM
Sat. September 12 vs Sporting Kansas City 7:00 PM
Wed., September 16 @ Nashville SC 6:00 PM
Sat., September 19 @ LA Galaxy 8:30 PM
Sat., September 26 vs Seattle Sounders FC 7:00 PM
Sun., October 4 @ San Jose Earthquakes 2:30 PM
With that, here’s my XI Thoughts on this year’s Colorado Rapids schedule:
1. Easy start: The first month of the season is relatively tame. They have three favorable games in non-playoff sides Orlando, Vancouver, and Houston. They open the season against D.C. without their two best players from last year. This could easily be four games unbeaten to start the season.
2. No Atlanta, Cincy, or Miami: With the size of the league and non-conference structure, every team will play just 10 of 13 teams in the opposite conference. Colorado will not play Atlanta United, FC, Cincinnati, and expansion Inter Miami. This is probably net average with a quality team, bad team, and expansion side with expectations.
3. Rapids Return: 2020 will see several games with significant former Rapids coming to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Gary Smith and potentially four former players will be in town on August 9 with Nashville. Pablo Mastroeni will return to Colorado with Houston Dynamo for the second home game of the season. Zac MacMath will be with RSL on August 22.
4. Brutal summer: May, June, and the first half of July will be tough. Those 10 weeks feature 13 games with all but two against teams that made the playoffs last year. This includes midweek games against Portland and both LA teams. Their only midweek home game of the year will be during this stretch against the Galaxy. Oh, and the traditional 4th Fest game will be a tough New York Red Bulls side.
5. Rocky Mountain Cup: For the twelfth time in the 16 year history of the trophy, Real Salt Lake will host the first Rocky Mountain Cup game of the season. The two sides meat on April 11 and August 22. If history is any indication, Colorado will need a result at RSL to have a chance of winning the cup for just the second time since 2014.
6. No long trips: Unlike last year, this schedule is balances. Colorado’s longest road trip in league play will be just two games. That happens twice, with the only road midweek and weekend game series coming in September when they play at Nashville then at LA Galaxy.
7. No long home stands: Similarly, the Rapids don’t have any long home stands. Their longest time at home will be three games from August 22 to September 12.
8. Mid-summer’s night dream: One of the biggest wins of 2019 came on June 28 when the Rapids won a lightning delayed match against LAFC 1-0. This year, the Supporters’ Shield champions come to DSG on June 13.
9. 4th of July at home: Once again, the Rapids will host a traditional 4th of July MLS game. This time, it will be against New York Red Bulls.
10. Final ten in conference: Similarly to last year, Colorado will be done win non-conference play early. Three of their first five game will be against Eastern Conference teams. Their final non-conference game will be July 25 against Axel Sjoberg and the Crew. That leaves their final 10 games of the season (nearly a third of the schedule) against Western Conference opponents.
11. Challenging final month: The final five games of the year will be a challenge. They have a midweek game against expansion side Nashville. But they play playoff teams in LA Galaxy and Seattle, as well as San Jose and Sporting who are expecting to be better in 2020.
Last Word: Pump the hype train brakes
I am normally not someone who gets excited about the schedule getting released. The timing doesn’t really matter and it’s still months away from the season actually starting. The CBA is still outstanding with the league and it’s not clear when the players union and league will come to an agreement or what that will entail.
There’s still a chance that the season doesn’t start on time or that the preseason becomes truncated because of negotiations. I refuse to get excited about the 2020 season until the CBA gets signed. Because until that happens, I won’t assume the season is starting on time.