COMMERCE CITY, CO - OCTOBER 30: Drew Moor #3 of the Colorado Rapids winces in pain after falling hard on his shoulder while fighting for a loose ball against Sporting Kansas City during their Eastern Conference Semifinals game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park October 30, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
I've never been the type to complain when a team I support is defeated by a superior team. On that note, had you told me that the Colorado Rapids would lose to Sporting Kansas City by the scoreline of 2-0 because of a Teal Bunbury brace, I probably wouldn't have been all that upset. However, losing in the manner that the Rapids did is just disgusting for what was supposed to be a somewhat highly regarded Major League Soccer match.
Already battling injuries to Pablo Mastroeni and Jamie Smith near the start of the playoffs, Colorado went into this game already with huge gaps in their talent on the pitch. Kansas seemed to be playing with the idea of destroying Colorado's few remaining players and with the oft-maligned Baldomero Toledo manning the referee spot on the day you had to know that there would be no-calls and calls on non-plays all over the place; it's kind of the mark of Toledo, after all. Some fairly dirty play from KC - rarely if ever called foul by Toledo of course - mixed with some simple bad luck for Colorado left Caleb Folan and Kosuke Kimura out for the count in the first half.
Though the injuries mounted for Colorado they actually managed to maintain their composure through the first half of play, with a 0-0 draw on the board going into the locker room. It didn't last in the second half as Colorado's weakened to super-weakened side finally snapped as Tyrone Marshall was completely burned by Teal Bunbury, giving him a wide open shot that Matt Pickens couldn't sprawl quite far enough to reach. After that, Toledo apparently decided that he hadn't had enough press on him today, calling not only a penalty kick but also a red card on Tyrone Marshall for a quite innocuous foul in the box.
Matt Pickens didn't stop the PK and lost in the scuffle was Drew Moor also going down with injury to add to the quickly growing list of players getting injured for Colorado. It took until the 75th minute for the 10 man, depleted Rapids to get their first shot on goal. Naturally, it didn't get any better as it went along and only some late heroics by Pickens kept the game at 2-0. The Rapids now need to score at least 3 goals in their match against KC at Livestrong Park in order to keep it up. Even if there were any chance that they would pull that minor miracle out, it's gotten to the point where it's probably better that they don't. It might just be a matter of time before the injuries go from worse to worst at the rate they're going.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Pickens. He couldn't do a terrible amount differently on the first goal and is just terrible on PK's so it's hardly his fault that 2-0 was the final score. He had plenty of late saves to keep the game within at least a dream's reach of Colorado going into Wednesday's game.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Tyrone Marshall. It was a terrible call to give Marshall the red card by Toledo, but did he really think that wouldn't get called as a PK? He got burned badly on the first goal as well.