The Colorado Rapids had a chance to make a statement today. After losing their last five matches in all competition, they had the chance to boost their playoff cushion by a whole bunch and push themselves back into the winning discussion with a win against a hapless San Jose Earthquakes team tonight. Unfortuately, a terrible mistake by Matt Pickens and a lack of quality on the offensive finishing killed the Rapids chances at three points and they had to settle for one possibly useless point as they drew the Quakes 1-1.
Colorado came out fairly strong to start the match, holding possession even as their shots on goal weren't falling. Caleb Folan and Omar Cummings started up at striker and showed the same chemestry - lack thereof, actually - that they always show together, which is to say that they both played completely terrible. Omar continued his terrible season by ripping shots over the bar and wide at every opportunity, or trying cheeky backheels that wound up being to nobody.
San Jose was the first on the board as Matt Pickens made a terrible screw up on a ball right at him from Khari Stephenson, letting it ring off his arm instead of trying to catch it which left last season's Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski wide open for the easiest goal of the season for himself. It was Wondo's 11th goal of the season and another goal conceded first by the Rapids, something they've allowed the other team to do every single match of the five game losing streak that ended tonight.
The second half was surprisingly all Rapids, though the early goal from San Jose seemed to sap the Rapids confidence down to the barest bones. Though Colorado had the lion's share of the chances and possession in the second half, Jon Busch seemed to be in the way of every ball toward the net despite the Rapids getting corner kicks all over the place. Drew Moor eventually did get a ball past Busch during a scramble in the box after one of the aforementioned corner kicks.
It looked like Colorado would be getting the final result out of it with a few very late chances including a Caleb Folan header right on the goal line, but Busch again turned out to be the hero.
The Rapids will likely be left score-board watching for the rest of the season as this game has destroyed their best chance to take control of their own destiny. Unless they can pull great results out against playoff bound FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake - albeit both at home -they'll be on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Drew Moor. When we get a free kiiiick, he will scoooore scooore scooore.
GOAT OF THE MATCH - Matt Pickens. If he doesn't bungle that Stephenson shot and let San Jose get on early, who knows what happens?