The Rapids lost 4-1 to the Columbus Crew today. And it wasn't because they had 10 men for the majority of the match, although that certainly played a role in the second half collapse. The Rapids lost tonight thanks to another head-scratching performance by the man on the sideline, coach Gary Smith.
Smith's line-ups recently have been completely lackluster and confusing recently. Omar Cummings still hasn't played with Conor Casey for a game since coming back. Scott Palguta and Danny Earls continue to get starts at left back, a position where neither of them are the best player available. Today Palguta and Quincy Amarikwa were in the line-up. Sure, Brian Mullan came back and started but barely got 60 minutes and was largely invisible with the rest of the team collapsing around him.
Conor Casey started the game off well with a 5th minute goal off a header from Jamie Smith on a corner, only the second goal that the Rapids have scored off a corner this season. After that, the game was completely in Columbus' court. Terrible turnovers from Palguta and Kosuke Kimura led to two goals in six minutes for the Crew before the half ended and Conor Casey earned a red card on a fairly stupid slide into Will Hesmer to add insult to injury.
Down to 10 men, the Rapids lost any hope of a comeback as the second half despite Omar Cummings finally coming into the match as Andres Mendoza completed his brace and Tommy Heinemann scored his first ever MLS goal. The Rapids were probably lucky that Jeff Cunningham didn't score the goal to give him the MLS all time lead in them, considering how the game was going for them. The score may have ended 4-1 but it very easily could have been - and probably should have been - 8-1.
Smith has completely lost this football team, and it's obvious watching them on the pitch. They have no heart, no discipline, no fire, nothing to talk about in terms of creativity or style. The line-ups should only have to go so far, this team had enough quality on the pitch to justify a win tonight, even with Palguta and Amarikwa. Unfortunately, it looks like the team has lost faith in the head coach just as much as he's lost faith in some of his players; Anthony Wallace, anyone?
There's really nothing else to say.