Colorado Rapids: Further match postponements spawn questions around season

The Colorado Rapids announced postponement of matches over the next ten days has sparked questions

The MLS and Colorado Department of Health teamed up for a joint decision on Monday, to announce the postponement of matches for the next ten days for the Colorado Rapids. This comes after eighteen positive Covid-19 cases have emerged in the Rapids camp alone, including 5 players at 13 staff members.

These postponements have become a part of a trend for clubs other than the Rapids, as three games were postponed over the weekend, two of them not featuring the Rapids at all with the Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew and FC Dallas vs. Minnesota United FC matches also not taking place due to positive test results.

As play began to resume outside of the MLS bubble in Orlando, FL back in early August, folks around the league were forced to take the game we saw executed extremely well in that bubble back to their home markets and adapt to their own local mandates and regulations.

Tough decisions await on what’s next for the Colorado Rapids

Well, since play resumed a grand total of nine games have now been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests from players and staff alike.

So far even though at least five other clubs have experienced positive cases, the squad most affected by these developments is the Colorado Rapids, who is now expected to make up seven matches before decision day on Nov. 8th.

The three matches postponed over the next ten days were,

  • October 14 at Seattle Sounders
  • October 18 vs. Real Salt Lake
  • and October 21 vs. Sporting Kansas City

It is getting a bit cumbersome for folks, as the October 21st game against Sporting Kansas City was already a rescheduled match from back on September 27th.

With an already small window for error given the global pandemic, league officials are now faced with a tough decision surrounding postponed fixtures, the remaining time allotted, and playoff contention.

It’s a tough position for everyone involved to be in, especially given what the pandemic has already done financially to the current season. The league has done a decent job adapting and providing fans a season to watch, but are now on the cusp of some major time crunching calculations and big decisions. Among a couple of solutions rumored out there by multiple reporters is rescheduling these matches during the international window beginning on November 8th, and resuming the season back on 20th.

If these games cannot be rescheduled and played in time for the end of the season come decision day, then the league has announced the likelihood of going to a points per game model for playoff positioning. This would essentially cancel all of those unplaced matches and seed teams for the MLS Cup playoffs based on this calculation.

And although points per game isn’t necessarily a popular metric for deciding league standings, this would be the second time in MLS’ short history of adopting points per game to decide league results. The last time this was implemented was back in 2001 when matches were canceled due to 9/11.

Still, it makes you wonder how cases continue to pop up around MLS, including what looks like an outbreak at one club and league officials continue to go public opposing a bubble to playout remaining games or to start the playoffs in a bubble.