Dawn Breaks Bright: Colorado Rapids Qualify for 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs

Colorado Rapids Playoffs

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It’s happened under the strangest of circumstances, but it’s happened nonetheless. Dawn has broken bright. The dark and stormy seas have calmed and parted. Tomorrow has come. The Colorado Rapids are headed to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Colorado Rapids Qualify for 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs

Colorado started off the season with two wins. COVID-19 suspended the season after that. The team crashed out of the MLS is Back tournament, taking one point from three games that counted towards the regular season. The team got off to a slow start in the first phase of the restarted season in late August.

They then won three of their next for games. The offense woke up with goals coming from set pieces and role players in bunches. At the back, they tightened up and became difficult to break down.

After a 5-0 home win against San Jose Earthquakes, the team would not play a game for a month. COVID-19 spread throughout the organization, with players, staff, and most of the coaching staff testing positive for the virus. The club held practice for four days over two weeks. They returned to training with half the squad the week of their first game back.

After two tough losses, the team improved. They got fitter and sharper on the ball. Late last week, MLS decided that the Western Conference standings would be decided by points per game, helping them out, however controversial. MLS expanded the playoffs to eight teams in the Western Conference, however controversial.

Last Sunday, the emphatically defeated Seattle Sounders FC and every other match that night went in their favor. Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Real Salt Lake both lost.

Going into this week, Colorado found themselves in 7th, needing just one point to make the playoffs on PPG. Alternatively, if the LA Galaxy did not win out the rest of their games, Colorado would clinch. Both teams had two games left going into tonight.

Ultimately, Kellyn Acosta played the hero. The midfielder came to Colorado two seasons ago in a blockbuster summer trade with FC Dallas. Coming off of an injury and the bench, he embodied the worth ethic and quality the Rapids have tried to implement all season long. They didn’t need a win, just a draw. But unlike years past, the Rapids finished the job.

Say what you will about the schedule or MLS’s decision to go with PPG to decide the table. The Rapids played fun soccer at times this year. When they are playing well, they blowout bad teams. They compete with and get results against quality teams. In that, they are deserve to be in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.