After six games (1-3-2), the Rapids now have their first win of the season and perhaps the greatest understanding of roster depth among MLS teams. Today we know:

Solid goalkeeper
Rapids fans have their own Sergio Goycochea in Clint Irwin. Irwin almost saved Mike McGee’s penalty kick in the 1-0 loss to Los Angeles, and he guessed correctly again a week later and nearly stopped Will Johnson’s 2-2 equalizer for Portland. He nipped Alvaro Saborio’s spot kick off the post to preserve the 1-0 home win over Real Salt Lake last Saturday, crediting his coaches for scouting Saborio’s previous 12-for-12 from the spot.

New-look attack
It’s a good idea to tune in for the Edson Buddle Hour. With two 60-minute-ish stints in the last two games, Buddle has shown Rapids fans that they have a new #9 with the kind of possession abilities of Conor Casey, the team’s previous gravity-based striker. Paired with Omar Cummings 2.0 (Deshorn Brown), Buddle creates the same kind of counter-balanced attack as the 2010 championship duo. But Buddle brings a different calm on the ball, perhaps a greater delta between his static stability and Brown’s electric acceleration. More important that Buddle the individual, the combinations between the striker and his teammates will determine the team’s success in attack.

New-look replacements
Were it not for a forward-looking coach and an unusual string of early-season injuries, Chris Klute, Shane O’Neill, Dillon Powers, and Brown might not have MLS experience yet. Brown and Powers started the first game of the season because they earned head coach Oscar Pareja’s confidence early. Pareja refers to this confidence and coordination within the team concept as “personality.” Klute and O’Neill had to step in to keep the defense together without Diego Calderon and Drew Moor, and the results have been progressively positive. No matter what happens in the next few months, the team knows it can rely on these youngsters.