On Saturday, the Colorado Rapids dropped a 1-0 decision to Seattle Sounders FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in a match that was a tale of two completely different halves for the Rapids. For as good as they looked in creating chances in the second half, they were equally as poor in the first. The loss dropped the Rapids to 2-4-2 (8 points) with a road game ahead on Sunday.
Cue up the Ennio Morricone music for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Week 8 edition.
The Good: The creativity and passion was back for the final 45 minutes. There were multiple chances created during the final frame and Kamani Hill and Jamie Smith brought the sense of urgency that was lacking in the first half. The Rapids seemed to take control of the match and the lads on the field appeared to have a new sense of purpose.
The Bad: As enjoyable as the second half was, the first half was terrible. A very weak goal (Clint Irwin needs to do better with that ball) put the Rapids in a hole that they just could not seem to climb out of. The defense consistently lost its shape and there was little if any cohesiveness on offense. It was as bad of a half that I have seen the Rapids play in a while.
The Ugly: The finishing problem. If it seems like a broken record, it probably is. Danny Mwanga had a sitter in front of the goal and missed, the woodwork was struck, and the Seattle goalkeeper was required to make good saves, but nothing amazing. The Rapids had more attempts on goal, more shots, more passes and the lion share of possession, but could not score. They have scored six goals in eight games, and two of them have come from the spot. That has to change.
Much has been made of the injury issues facing the club--Martin Rivero, Jaime Castrillon, Pablo Mastroeni, Deshorn Brown, Matt Pickens, Diego Calderon, Edson Buddle, Marvell Wynne, Jamie Smith, and Kevin Harbottle have all missed time with a variety of injuries. It is a credit to the team and the coaches that they have not packed it in and are not using the injuries as an excuse. This is still a fun team to watch and we are seeing the young lads grow up before our eyes. There is a growing level of character and leadership that goes beyond Mastroeni, Drew Moor and Hendry Thomas. This is a team that will see their share of struggles in 2013, but will grow and be better for it. They have a rough road game in Houston this weekend (forecast is 84 degrees on Sunday--at least it is not August) and it is going to take a total team effort to come away with a result.