Decision Day for MLS is Sunday. The Colorado Rapids are already in the playoffs, clinching their spot Wednesday with a 1-0 win in Portland. In Sunday’s regular-season finale at Houston, the Burgundy Boys get a chance to improve their seeding and get a more favorable postseason matchup.
As it stands now, and likely will after Sunday’s action, the three strongest teams in the west — Kansas City, Portland and Seattle — hold the top three seeds. Though the Rapids did just beat the Timbers and Sounders, they will want to avoid all three and try to get the No. 5 seed and a matchup with Dallas.
The now seventh-seeded Rapids can move up to fifth rather easily. Colorado’s smaller game total caused by the club’s COVID-19 outbreak, paired with MLS opting to use points per game to order its standings, gives the Rapids a chance to make a lot of progress in just one match.
A win would leapfrog them over LAFC and the loser of Minnesota-Dallas or Minnesota outright if the two teams draw. It’s as simple as a Rapids win and they climb to No. 5, avoiding the Western Conference’s strongest teams in the first round.
“It’s important that we continue to play with the same sort of energy, intelligence and cohesion that we have for the last couple of games,” Robin Fraser said.”The seeding, I feel like at the end of the day you just have to try to win your games and do as well as you can. And you’ll see where the chips fall.”
The Dynamo are in last place in the West, making a Rapids road win even more favorable. If Colorado can pull that off, they’ll carry a three-match win streak into the playoffs — their longest win streak of their season.
“Houston is just another opportunity for us,” Kellyn Acosta said. “We can’t look too much into the playoffs because we’re looking to Houston. They have been in a tough spot but that’s still a team that we need to respect because they have some quality guys. Sunday is going to be another test for us that we need to prove to ourselves and to the league that we’re not just some one-off team that just wins one game here and there.”
Three Rapids were named to MLS Team of the Week for their efforts midweek. Acosta, Rapids ironman Sam Vines and Danny Wilson, who started in place of Auston Trusty, all got the nod.
Another player worth noting is Nicolas Benezet, who has started the past two games for Colorado. The winger appears to be rounding into form after spending most of his first season with the Rapids injured. In 2019, Benezet scored a massive goal for Toronto in their run to the title game.