The Colorado Rapids went down without so much as a whimper against their Rocky Mountain nemeses, Real Salt Lake, on Saturday.
The 2-0 loss put the Rapids on track for a winless July -- and within a whisker of last place in the West -- unless they can pull out of the tailspin this week against the Sounders. Oh, and it dashed hopes that the Rapids would, after five years, reclaim the Rocky Mountain Cup.
The game unfolded in the same fashion as most Colorado matches in this month of futility: Gifting a pair of goals and going flat on offense. As if a five-game slide isn't bad enough, the Rapids are now winless in their last eight against Salt Lake. Real, meanwhile, is in second place in the West, 17 points distant of the Boys in Burgundy.
Notably absent from the Colorado lineup were forward Conor Casey (hamstring) and midfielder Jeff Larentowicz (card accumulation). Fill-in midfielder Joseph Nane performed capably and confidently, as did Wells Thompson. That pairing, and a slight burst of second-half energy provided by Brian Mullan, were the only real highlights in a rocky night in the shadow of the Wasatch range.
0 - Awful, horrible, why is he even on the field!?
1-3 - Poor. Why is he starting?
4-6 - Decent. Played a reasonable game, but could have done much more.
7-9 - Great game! Did nearly everything right with few mistakes
10 - Perfect game.
Matt Pickens — 5
Could have possibly been a bit quicker off his line when Marvell Wynne sent a dead-duck back pass his way. But he made several nice saves in to keep this one from getting uglier.
Drew Moor — 6
Moor shifted from his usual center back position to right back and played a solid game. No fault on either of the goals.
Tyrone Marshall — 4
The veteran defender played reasonably well, but got coughed up the ball to Alvaro Saborino in the 90th minute to allow the second goal.
Marvell Wynne — 4
Brutal mistake on the back-pass giveaway to Fabian Espindola. That goal pretty much revved the engine of Salt Lake, who, after being drilled 5-0 in their last game, found offensive life against Colorado. Wynne likewise prevented another Espindola goal just before half with a well-timed tackle.
Tyson Wahl — 5
Wahl's 44th-minute free kick was about Colorado's only offensive highlight in the first half. It floated through the box after Jaime Castrillon and Drew Moor narrowly missed getting a flick-on. Wahl played generally solid defense and swung the ball up quickly to midfielders.
Jaime Castrillon — 4
Looked tired and out of synch most of the game. Didn't contribute much in the offensive third.
Wells Thompson — 6
One of Thompson's better outings, playing comfortably alongside Joseph Nane and doing his usual pesky work in the defensive midfield to disrupt Salt Lake.
Joseph Nane — 5.5
Nane stepped into the big vacancy left by Larentowicz and performed confidently. He had an excellent one-touch pass combo with Tony Cascio to spring Cummings in the box, but the striker skied his shot.
Martin Rivero — 5.5
Delivered his usual moments of fluidity and cutting passes as catalyst middie, but lost a lot of spark in the second half. Looked tired and, rare for him, was pulled in the 74th minute.
Tony Cascio — 5
Still waiting to see a return to that devil-may-care swagger that the rookie bursted with earlier in the season. Perhaps he found the pairing with Edu a dead end, as Edu has failed to deliver much this season in terms of creativity or ball-striking.
Edu — 2
Omar Cummings (46) on for Castrillon — 4.5
Not much out of the forward, who apparently didn't get the start because of an ankle strain. Showed his usual quickness in flashes, but failed to test the Real keeper.
Brian Mullan (56) for Edu — 6.5
Was one of the more energetic Rapids on the night, pushing the ball around the top of the box and making the Salt Lake defenders work at their jobs.
Kamani Hill (74) on for Martin Rivero — 4
Didn't get enough touches to make any real difference with his blazing pace.