1996: The Rapids got their team history underway with a 3-0 loss at Kansas City against the Wiz on April 13. In the club’s first home game eight days later, they would defeat the Dallas Burn, 3-1 in front of 21,711 spectators. The club featured stars such as Marcello Balboa, Roy Wegerle and Shaun Bartlett, and was under the guidance of Bobby Houghton. But despite the star-studded team that they had, the Rapids finished the season with a disappointing record of 11-21 and had the unfortunate honor of being the first Western Conference team to not make the playoffs.
1997: The Rapids would enter their second season with high hopes under new coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick. The Rapids would start the season off on the wrong foot, but would eventually come together and qualify for the playoffs for the first time despite a sub-500 record of 14-18. As the fourth seed in the West, the Rapids went up against the top-seeded Kansas City Wizards. The Rapids shocked the soccer nation by becoming the first team in history to knock off the top seed in the first round, sweeping the Wizards in two games. The Cinderella Rapids didn’t stop there as they also swept the Dallas Burn in the Conference Finals to advance to their first MLS Cup despite being the lowest seed in the Western Conference.
1997 MLS Cup: The Rapids hoped that they would put themselves on top of the US soccer world with one more upset at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. But they found themselves going up against defending champion and hometown DC United. In a steady downpour, United went on top on a 37th minute goal by Jaime Moreno and Tony Sanneh provided insurance in the 68th minute. Adrian Paz would bring the Rapids to within a goal in the 75th minute, but it was too late. In front of 57,431 supporters, United held on to strike midnight on the Rapids with a 2-1 win for their second straight title.
1998: Hoping to return to MLS Cup, the Rapids took a step backwards and lost 8 of their first 11 games. But after that, they proceeded to win 8 of their next 10 to get back into contention. The rest of the way, the team played mediocre soccer, but it was enough for them to qualify for the playoffs with an even .500 record, 16-16. But in the playoffs, the Rapids went up against the expansion Chicago Fire and would fall to them in a sweep.
1999: The Rapids started the season on a hot streak with a record of 12-4 and sat atop the Western Conference. They would come back to earth and slip down to fourth place in the Western Conference. The Rapids held a record of 20-12 and went up against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first round of the playoffs. They had nothing to show for or prove as they were easily swept by the Galaxy while failing to score a single goal.
2000: With realignment, the Rapids once again struggled to make the postseason. They had trouble on all parts of the team as they had to wait until the final weekend of the season to qualify for the playoffs with a 1-0 overtime win against the Los Angeles Galaxy at home. As the 8th seed in the playoffs, the Rapids were defeated by the top-seeded Kansas City Wizards.
2001: Coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick resigned in the offseason and was replaced by former Tampa Bay Mutiny coach Tim Hankinson. Under Hankinson, the Rapids would struggle and miss the playoffs for the first time in 5 years with an abysmal 5-13-8 record.
2002: Going into their first full season at Invesco Field, not much was immediately expected from the Rapids after a disappointing season, but in the dispersal draft in January, they added several key players and were favorites to contend in the West. The Rapids would have a seesaw season, but used a strong last third of the year to qualify for the playoffs with a record of 13-11-4. The Rapids would go on to beat the Dallas Burn in the first round of the playoffs on a series tiebreaking goal by Mark Chung in game 3 for their first playoff series win since 1997. The Rapids would run out of gas in the next round, losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
2003: The Rapids would again get off to a slow start and were near the cellar of the West in late May, but in June, the Rapids began to turn it on. Between July and October, the Rapids were the hottest team in MLS and would make the playoffs despite a dismal record of 11-12-7. The early struggles were what caused the losing record. In the aggregate goal series, the Rapids would lose to the Kansas City Wizards 3 goals to 1.
2004: After acquiring star goalkeeper Joe Cannon, the Rapids would struggle out of the gate, but would catch fire during the summer as Cannon began to prove his value. By September, the Rapids would hold a small lead in the Western Conference and were a threat around the league, but a 6-1 loss to the New England Revolution on September 18 would send them into a tailspin. They were able to keep their winning record, however, finishing 10-9-11, well enough for third in the West, as Cannon was named Goalkeeper of the Year. In the conference semifinal, the Rapids would win the first game against the LA Galaxy, but wound up losing the aggregate goal series 2-1 as the Galaxy scored twice in game two. Following the season, The Rapids would fire Tim Hankinson, and replace him with Fernando Clavijo.
2005: After winning just two games in the season’s first two months, many thought this would be a disappointing season for the Rapids. Joe Cannon would pick his game up and it seemed to have a contagious effect as the Rapids played better through most of the summer and would qualify for the playoffs with a .500 record of 13-13-6. After a scoreless tie with FC Dallas in the first game of their aggregate goal playoff series, the two teams would play overtime after a 1-1 regulation tie. Dallas would score in the overtime, but the Rapids would respond and score with a goal of their own. The score would hold up that way through the rest of overtime. In the subsequent shootout, the Rapids outscored FC Dallas, to move on to the conference final against the LA Galaxy. But that’s where the line ended for the Rapids, losing at home on two goals to Landon Donovan.
2006: The Rapids were determined to make their final year as a tenant in Invesco Field at Mile High a dandy. That was not to be as they struggled, hovering above the .500 mark all year long. In addition injuries would plague the club as well. Nevertheless, the Rapids finished with a record of 11-13-8, good enough for fourth place in the West, two points ahead of Los Angeles. Facing FC Dallas, the Rapids would tie series at 3-3 in the aggregate goal first round, then proceeding to defeat them in a shootout 5-4. That would be the end of the road for the Rapids as a week later, they fell in the conference final for a second successive year, this time to the Houston Dynamo, 3-1.
2007: In their season opener on April 7, the Rapids finally had a new stadium to call their own, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. To go along with the new facility, the team changed their logo, colors and kits, resembling Arsenal. In front of a sold-out crowd, the Rapids downed DC United, 2-1. But other than a 3-0-1 stretch during the summer, that would pretty much be the only bright spot for the club in ’07, posting a rebuilding-year-like record of 9-13-8, missing the playoffs for the first time in six years.
2008: Heading into the season the Rapids bolstered the roster by adding depth to the midfield and defense, with the signings of Christian Gómez and Jose Burciaga Jr. The Rapids would start the season strong with a complete thrashing of David Beckham and the LA Galaxy by a 4-0 score on Opening Day to launch the season. However, it would be the high point all season as the Rapids played mediocre soccer all season, leading the dismissal of Coach Fernando Clavijo, under his replacement Gary Smith the Rapids would be in the playoff chase to the very end of the season, but missed the playoffs by one point, as Red Bull New York, who had a better record grabbed the wild card fourth spot in the Western Conference over the fourth place Rapids who posted a record of 11-14-5.
2009: Looking to get back to the postseason, the Rapids played a bipolar-like season in which they played great at home, winning eight, and played terribly on the road, losing eight. Their road woes would ultimately cost them as their even 10-10-10 record left them on the outside looking in. Their 40 points were tied with Real Salt Lake for the final playoff spot, but lost out on the goal differential tiebreaker.
2010: The Rapids would get off to a decent start, winning six of their first ten matches and spending the first half of the season in the top standings in the West. But the team would suffer through a difficult summer, tying five and losing two at one point. The good start to the season helped them to the playoffs with a 12-8-10 record. They would shift over to the East bracket because of an overload of West teams qualified. Seeded third, the Rapids tied the Columbus Crew 2-2 on aggregate in their quarterfinal matchup and then prevailed 5-4 on penalties. In the conference final against the San Jose Earthquakes, a 42nd minute goal by Kosuke Kimura held up for a 1-0 win.
2010 MLS Cup: Thirteen years after their only other appearance, the Rapids were back in MLS Cup, squaring off against conference foe FC Dallas in Toronto. Early on, things didn’t look good as Dallas held the run of play and eventually took the lead on a goal by regular season MVP David Ferreira in the 35th minute. But in the 57th minute, Conor Casey put the Rapids on level terms with a goal while sitting down during a scrum in the penalty area. The game remained tied and would head to extra time. In the 107th minute, Macoumba Kandji dribbled into the box and attempted to cross, but the ball deflected off FC Dallas defender George John and into the net. The defense would hold up the rest of the period and the Rapids were MLS champions for the first time. Casey’s goal earned him MVP honors.
2011: The Rapids began a decent defense of their first MLS championship by busting out of the gate with three straight wins. But a stretch of six straight ties set the club back to the middle of the West pack and wins, losses and ties would be alternated the rest of the way for a record of 12-9-13 which earned them a spot in the MLS wild card round where they beat the Columbus Crew on a goal by Omar Cummings. Then they would hit a brick wall in the next round, getting shut out by Sporting Kansas City 4-0 on aggregate.
2012: Hoping to build on a wild card finish the year before, the Rapids would endure a number of injuries to key players such as captain Carlos Bocanegra, Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. That would conspire to give the Rapids two wins during the summer, including a winless July, and seventh place finish of 11-19-4.
2013: After starting the season winless in their first five, the Rapids would go on a decent run during the summer with a 5-0-4 stretch to help propel the young up-and-coming club to the playoffs with a fifth-place record of 14-11-9. But the Rapids wouldn’t go any further as the Seattle Sounders shut them out 2-0 in the West’s knockout game.
2014: After signing former hero Pablo Mastroeni as manager in the offseason, the Rapids would get off to a respectable 3-1-2 start to the year. After that, injuries several many key players, including an ACL tear to mainstay defender Drew Moor, devastated the club. After winning on July 30, the Rapids would lose 12 of the season’s final 14 games with two ties and wound up with an eighth-place record of 8-18-8.
2015: Hoping for a rebound following a dramatic implosion the year before, the Rapids would fare no better. A 362-minute scoreless stretch to start the season was a sign of things to come amongst a 1-2-7 span out of the gate. The only sliver lining for the Rapids in this 9-15-10 season in the West basement was two separate three-game winning streaks in the summer.
2016: With new stars Jermaine Jones and Tim Howard brought into the fold, the Rapids transformed themselves into a team to be reckoned with in the West. This certainly seemed to be the case early on as they won five of their first nine matches and spun that into a fourteen match unbeaten run. The club would not lose a game at home all season and conceded the fewest goals in MLS at 32. Finishing in second place in the West at 15-6-13, the Rapids lost the first playoff match to the LA Galaxy 1-0, and then Shkëlzen Gashi tied the series in the second leg at home and the Rapids won the ensuing penalty shootout 3-1 to advance. Throughout the season, their defense carried them, but their relative lack of offense was a concern and that would be their undoing in the West Finals against the Seattle Sounders as they were beaten 3-1 on aggregate.
2017: After a deep playoff run, expectations were high for the Rapids to go further. But right away, it was very noticeable that the club would not do well, losing five in a row in April and several players sustaining injuries that would hurt the club’s chances. A nine-match winless streak, during which Pablo Mastroeni was relieved of his duties, was the nail in the coffin for the Rapids, finishing the year in tenth place in the West at 9-19-6.
©MMXVIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Stephen Mulvoy, all information, and team names are property of Major League Soccer. This site is not affiliated with the Colorado Rapids or the MLS. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on June 12, 2004. Last updated on August 8, 2018 at 11:50 pm ET.