Royals at Rapids
East/West Pick: N/A
Home Pick: Colorado
Power Pick! Colorado
I'm toying with the idea that the farther west you go, the worse your team is. It's generally accepted that Kansas City would beat any team in the West. Now that Houston has bothered to win a game, you could plausibly say that okay, now they're better than their standings. The rest of the West pretty much lines up geographically - Dallas, Colorado, RSL, LA, CUSA, San Jose. So Colorado would be the East/West pick here. Sadly, the East is being led by two teams in the middle of the country. And by this ranking, I'd be predicting San Jose to go winless the rest of the way, and frankly I think they could beat the HDC teams right now. And the Revolution certainly aren't going to win out. Rest assured Power Rankings Research! is contemplating the issue with the care it deserves.
If we pretend that the West is a legitimate conference, and not USL 1/2, then this is an important game as well as an exciting one. I should hate the Royals a lot more than I do, if only because they continue to employ Dema Kovalenko, Jason Kreis has a diploma with honors from the Dominic Kinnear Whining Institute, and the last thing we need to see is Rice-Eccles Stadium hosting a playoff game. Still, I like watching RSL this year, and not just for comedy purposes. Maybe I'm just vastly overrating Espindola and Morales, but I think ever since they came along last year they've added a totally new dimension to the Royals that the rest of the team is s...l...o...w...l...y building on.
The Rapids were one of the most disagreeable teams in the league, and proud of it. Two red cards from the bench? All in a day's work for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. It seems to have made them a closer team, based on the way they all closed ranks to defend Ugo Ihemelu and blame Tim Weyland for the game-losing penalty call. And if you only judge from the highlights...and the standings...it seems that maybe Christian Gomez isn't quite washed up yet.
It's a shame there aren't four regular season games between these two teams, but maybe we'll get lucky and they'll meet in the playoffs. For this game, well, I don't think the Royals are going to go winless on the road for the entire year...but I don't think they're going to win this game. Rapids, 2-0.