That frustrating New England loss ain't got nothing on this one!
We had expected a loss out of this game, but for different reasons. The Vancouver Whitecaps had an offense that was on fire, a lot of speed similar to Montreal and Scott Palguta was starting on the defense. Only one of those things ended up coming into play against the Whitecaps, and it ended up being a situation that most of us didn't see coming when it happened.
Scott Palguta was in the starting line up at center back, we should probably mention that again. It might or might not be something we mention again later. Who knows?
The Rapids actually started this one as strong as we could have expected them to, with tons of chances to score in the first half. At the end of the first, they actually had some pretty nice looking advantages. They were outshooting Vancouver by three, took 70% of the duels in the first half and had a passing accuracy over 70% as well, not bad except for the lack of goals.
It got even better in the 60th minute, as after Darren Mattocks dove blatantly in the box in the 59th minute and got a yellow card, he got another one for a hard foul on Drew Moor. Mattocks had been far and away the best player for the Whitecaps up to that point, so it was even better. It looked pretty good for the Rapids. A man up with great possession and a good looking batch of shots? Plus, the other team just lost their greatest scoring threat? What could possibly go wrong?
Did we mention that Scott Palguta was starting at center back? That's kind of important.
Oscar Pareja decided to go on the full on offensive at that point, putting in Conor Casey and Kamani Hill. It looked pretty good at first, as the Rapids took control of the game fairly well at the start of things after the second yellow. Sadly, they were only able to come close and couldn't finish to save their lives.
In the 80th minute, it all went wrong. Chiumiento launched a counter attack and put in a cross into the box where a completely unmarked Sebastien Le Toux was able to put it home. Guess who was supposed to be covering him? If you said Scott Palguta then congratulations, you have been paying attention. Far too easy for Le Toux, and at that point you knew it was over.
The Rapids did come close in the 83rd minute when Conor Casey put in a beauty of a cross that left an open net for Edu. Unfortunately, his shot was blocked and the rebound attempt by Martin Rivero clattered the crossbar. Another hit post and a few weak corner kicks later, we had a 1-0 Rapids loss. A loss in a six pointer, no less.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Pickens. He was an absolute beast in the goal today, thoroughly deserved to get a clean sheet after some wonderful stops. Couldn't do anything about the goal that ended up being scored.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Guess.