Following that result, I'm still not completely sure that the Vancouver Whitecaps didn't kill the Portland Timbers and put their skin on. Large chunks of the Rapids' 1-0 loss to Portland had the same feel that both games against the 'Caps have had this season, with the Rapids playing some great soccer but failing to capitalize.
We've seen this story unfold plenty of times this season, the Rapids take over possession and have some fine chances on goal but fail to put one in, the other team scores one and we all know how it goes from there.
The game started with an immensely entertaining half, with both teams making plenty of runs forward -- the first 25 minutes or so belonged to the Rapids with five shots on goal, with the Timbers taking over the other 20 with six shots of their own. The difference between those two runs was that Portland managed to capitalize on the end of theirs.
It took until the 45th minute to see a goal, but it was a well worked one for Portland. Bright Dike made a run into the box unmarked while Sal Zizzo made a similar unmarked run down the flank. The service was as good as service can be and Dike only needed to let the ball bounce off of him to stick the ball into the net. Marvell Wynne and Tyson Wahl should have done better on the play, and Matt Pickens looked a bit too indecisive for his own good as Dike charged forward.
It was a vintage 2012 Rapids goal allowed, really.
The second half started off even chippier than the first half had gone, as Portland seemed content to sit back and enjoy their lead. We all know what happens when other teams sit back on the Rapids, right? Possession, possession everywhere and not a goal to drink.
That's not to say the Rapids had no chances, but Omar Cummings wasn't helping matters after he got subbed in and Conor Casey couldn't link up with the midfielders behind him, though he did provide a decent passing game (!) for himself. Colorado did get four shots onto Donovan Ricketts' net but nothing so dangerous as to incite fear into the hears of the Timbers Army.
On the bright side, Hendry Thomas impressed in his first game as a Rapid! He played the full 90 minutes and looked great while doing so -- perhaps the fitness problem wasn't as big as we had originally anticipated. We'll see how he does on Wednesday during his likely home debut as the Rapids attempt to take revenge on Portland.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Hendry Thomas. For a guy who was supposed to be feeling the effects of several months without any playing time, he did a heck of a job. Matt Pickens deserves credit as well, solid effort and two save of the week nominees.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Marvell Wynne and Tyson Wahl get equal points in here for both leaving their men unmarked on the goal.