COMMERCE CITY, CO - MAY 29 : Conor Casey #9 of the Colorado Rapids gets tied up with Tyrone Marshall #14 of the Seattle Sounders FC during the first half at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on May 29, 2010 in Commerce City, Colorado . (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
How well have the Rapids done this season? Certainly better than last season.
Through the first half of the season, the Rapids have stuck their noses to the grindstone and trucked their way to an impressive 6-3-3 record, good for 21 points and a comfortable spot in third place of the Western Conference. A big reason for the Rapids' improvement this season is their road record thus far of 4-2-1, already winning two more road games than the entire last season – they finished 10-10-10 with a paltry 2-8-5 away record in 2009 – despite being less than halfway through this one!Striker Conor Casey is currently tied for third in goals scored league-wide with six in 12 appearances, to go along with two assists. He has been nominated for a prestigious (Read: Not prestigious at all) ESPY award for Best MLS Player. He and fellow offensive star Omar Cummings have combined for nine of the 15 goals scored in the 12 games thus far this season. Goalkeeper Matt Pickens has also been a pleasant surprise this season for the Rapids, currently top five in the league in both save percentage (73.3) and goals against average (0.92). The Rapids are on a five game unbeaten streak at present, most recently drawing a close 2-2 match with the Houston Dynamo. The Rapids held a 71st minute 2-1 lead when a lucky corner kick bounced off of the Dynamo’s Lovel Palmer into his own net, but the lead was quickly off-set by Joesph Ngwenya’s 80th minute equalizer. Other recent games have not been against opponents with the powerful offense of the Dynamo, but one of the keys to winning championships is to beat the teams you’re supposed to beat; the Rapids could not seem to do that last season amongst the injuries and just flat out occasional bad play that plagued them. The Rapids take on the New York Red Bulls for their annual firework spectacular on July 4 at Dick’s