Well here's some breaking news for you guys; MLS referees aren't all that good at what they do. In fact, if you were to listen to San Jose's commentary stream last night, you would probably have been informed of that several times. The refs in last night's match against the San Jose Earthquakes were just brutal, and unfortunately for the Quakes most of that brutality was in favor of our Colorado Rapids.
San Jose didn't take their franchise record winless streak down to 11 straight games easily, as they struck first in the 22nd minute when Chris Wondolowski's errant shot was denied by Matt Pickens but shoveled back into the net by Joey Gjertse. Colorado's offense was productive but frustrating in the early goings as Caleb Folan made a fantastic attempt off a Brian Mullan cross in the box which smashed into the bottom of the post.
Pablo Mastroeni earned Colorado a questionable penalty as he chased down a ball with some speed in the box and whipped a cross toward the net that scraped Sam Cronin's trailing arm. Despite the contact looking incidental at best, a handball was called and Caleb Folan scored the penalty with a bullet down the middle - the second such penalty he has scored this season! - with ease for his fifth goal of the season.
Halftime came and went with the score at 1-1 but the action did not subside. It only took until the 50th minute for Pablo Mastroeni to get his second questionable call against Sam Cronin as Cronin slid tackled Pablo rather innocuously and the referee reached for red immediately. It was a terrible call and the referee in fact spent the entire game giving out yellows for fairly soft tackles so it seemed inevitable that eventually a red would come out.
With Colorado a man up it seemed inevitable that they would eventually break through despite some pretty tough play from the Quakes right after the red, including Chris Wondolowski doing his best impression of Chris Wondolowski on the national team as he put it about 80 yards over the bar while right on the six yard box in the 55th minute. The winner eventually did come from Colorado as Jeff Larentowicz did his ol' standard, blasting a dead ball from a free kick 22 yards out.
Colorado will take whatever they can get naturally, but you have to feel that they probably should have just been able to win on their actual talent advantage over the listless Earthquakes rather than a couple of questionable calls helping them out. Either way, this gives the Rapids four wins in their last five games as well as three wins in a row following the 2-1 Philadelphia victory and 2-0 Columbus win. With Champions League just about to start, the Rapids getting a push of points to boost their playoff position is a very good thing right now.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Caleb Folan. His best showing as a Rapid yet. I didn't think he had it in him to be a lone guy in a 4-5-1 but he was borderline brilliant in the first half yesterday and probably should have had a goal regardless of the penalty. Wells Thompson and Larentowicz were also fantastic all match.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: I hear tell that the refs were pretty bad.