What Oscar Pareja (pictured) has done this year in his second year in charge of the Colorado Rapids, using a bunch of rookies and young guys who are practically rookies, really is something else.
Pareja and his bunch from DSG Park will not be happy just to reach the playoffs, obviously, but don’t undersell the significance of just making it for a group that has essentially played with five rookies all summer. (Including a couple of the leading Rookie of the Year candidates, which we’ve written about several times.)
Gabriel Torres had two goals as the Rapids’ mid-summer addition continues to make the team’s technical staff look good for grabbing him.
The Rapids aren’t technically in the playoffs just yet, but a lot would have to happen at this point for Pareja and crew to miss out. In fact, they could officially clinch Sunday if Los Angeles defeats or ties San Jose.
(On the other hand, if San Jose wins, it’s bad, bad, bad news for Seattle, where the pressure would mount even further on next week’s home battle against Los Angeles … which really might at that point be for a playoff spot.)
One of those top rookie candidates around DSG struck Saturday as Deshorn Brown hit No. 10 on the year. He also had an assist, continuing to build a solid case for the top freshman honors.
On the other side, this probably means the end of Martin Rennie’s days at Vancouver, as the loss eliminated the Whitecaps. The club has big ambition, and Seattle’s past success, and what the Timbers are doing this year will only add to the pressure to move past the sticking point around BC Place). Either way, a lack of any playoff success so far will not – Vancouver made the playoffs last year but didn’t go anywhere – probably isn’t going to cut it.
Highlights are here: