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State Of The Colorado Rapids

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How well have the Rapids done this season? Certainly better than last season.

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It’s almost the halfway point of the Major League Soccer 2010 season and the Rapids are having the season of a contender so far.

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 Sporting Goods Park. The Bulls have the most wins in MLS currently with eight and sit in a tie for first place in the East with 24 points. Head coach Gary Smith has a 3-0 all time record against New York. Combine that with the Rapids' 11-2-1 all-time record on the Fourth of July and we’re just about guaranteed to see some fireworks in Commerce City today both on and off the field.