Frustrating doesn't even begin to encapsulate the match that we just saw. Against a team that was totally inviting the Rapids to score goals all game long, and with two very long stretches of a man advantage, the Colorado Rapids couldn't pull the trigger and got only a single point out of StubHub Center after a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA.
Just like last week's match against Real Salt Lake, Colorado started off by allowing an awful goal. German Mera slammed a clearance right into a Chivas player, allowing Carlos Alvarez a free run at the Rapids defense. Drew Moor could easily be accused of allowing him way too much space, as well. He had a super finish regardless that Clint Irwin couldn't do all that much about, and the Rapids found themselves in the hole only five minutes into the game.
Following what might have been his best performance of the year against Real Salt Lake, Deshorn Brown had easily the worst game of his Rapids career on Sunday night, and it started when they were awarded a penalty kick after a very clear handball by Steve Purdy. With usual penalty taker Hendry Thomas out due to suspension, Brown stepped up to take the shot much like he had the last time the Rapids were in southern California. Last time, his penalty was quick, sharp and decisive, but he was none of those this time around. His shot was far too slow and telegraphed just enough for Dan Kennedy to make the easy read for the diving stop, and an attempt at a follow-up shot was biffed.
That was the first of many times that the Rapids failed to capitalize on something handed right to them.
Their fortunes seemed to brighten once again in the 33rd minute when Gabriel Farfan went knee to knee on Shane O'Neill, a foul which Chris Penso deemed red card worthy. Colorado couldn't take advantage of the space that they were now afforded, thanks to their very defense minded midfield being unable to get the ball to the three forwards. Tony Cascio and Jaime Castrillon were the ones flanking Brown because of injuries to Edson Buddle and Atiba Harris, and both had plenty of good moments on the rare occasion that the ball was being fed to them. Unfortunately, it rarely was, and the Rapids instead were forced into a number of dreamers from outside the box.
Oscar Pareja was smart with his one halftime substitution, taking a rather mediocre German Mera off the field in place of Vicente Sanchez. Unfortunately, Colorado had little time to get a rhythm going with their new addition thanks to a raised boot by Cascio. There was no contact made from Cascio's boot, but it was deemed dangerous by Penso and Cascio was given his walking papers after already having been given a yellow card in the first half.
That wasn't enough to stop the Rapids, of course. They were still the better team, even in a 10 vs. 10 battle, and the chances continued to flow for them until, for the umpteenth time, they were thrown a bone by the soccer gods. Dan Kennedy made a very rare mistake to leave Brown with nothing but net in front of him in the 58th minute, and he somehow missed a chance that it really would have been easier to make.
Even then, the soccer gods still weren't done throwing bones to the Rapids.
This time it was Tristian Bowen in the 63rd minute, who stupidly spat at Chris Klute after the ball was knocked out for a throw in. Another straight red card left Chivas with nine men to Colorado's 10 with almost a third of the game to go.
Unfortunately, it only got more frustrating from there. It felt like 2012 all over again, with Colorado controlling every single phase of play on the field, winning every ball and creating fantastic movement in the middle and final thirds, but without the finishing. Martin Rivero's introduction didn't hurt matters at all, and in fact he ended up finally getting a goal back for Colorado in the 80th minute with a fantastic header. Unfortunately, that was all the Rapids could find. After that, they had a shot hit the crossbar and nearly deflect in for an own goal, several close calls from outside the box and a few runs that ended in horrible turnovers, but nothing hit the back of the twine.
In a game that many of us had labeled a 'must-win', that's exactly the opposite of what we were hoping for. If the offense continues to misfire, as it was early in the season when the Rapids weren't getting results, there is absolutely no way they make the playoffs. Gabriel Torres can't put on that No. 30 jersey fast enough.