The Colorado Rapids' home record has deteriorated since it moved to its soccer specific stadium in Commerce City from Invesco Field at Mile High two seasons ago. Whisper it quietly so you're not heard above the murmur of the home fans, but it might be down to a lack of atmosphere.
The Rapids' English midfielder Terry Cooke told Brian Forbes that a vocal crowd was one of the keys to helping the team clinch a playoff spot during the season's run-in, and he hopes that the team's coaching change and recent improved form will help fill the often empty stands. "I understand the fans' frustrations over the years, and I see a lot of people starting to stay away a little," Cooke said in what might kindly be termed a diplomatic under-statement.
On top of that, Cooke said, the team needs to use its home advantage by quickly wearing down teams not used to the altitude. Interim coach Gary Smith emphasized the need for an extra effort for a home game that should be standard from all professional players. "I just think over the course of time we've been a little bit inconsistent," Smith said. "That's not necessarily, totally down to the coach or the manager."
Though sometimes it is, just a little bit.