Colorado played better than I think a lot of us expected to on Saturday night for first kick, but a boneheaded play by Steward Ceus doomed them to a 1-0 loss in Frisco against FC Dallas.
In all, in was actually not a bad performance. They dominated possession, but not in the 'hold it in the defense the entire game' kind of way. They had a ton of shots, looked viciously accurate in the pass, and we saw some fine stuff from the youngsters that were littering the squad. DeShorn Brown looked solid at target forward, blazing past guys and holding the ball up like Omar Cummings never could. Kevin Harbottle shredded through just about everyone. Dillon Powers looked like a seasoned vet playing as the attacking spark of the 4-3-3's spinal midfield.
With the Rapids all at full throttle from the start -- even Atiba Harris, who was probably the worst field player of the match, had his moments -- it looked like it might be a promising performance from this new look Rapids team. Though the final touch was clearly lacking on most of their chances, they looked the more likely of the teams to score through the opening stage.
Unfortunately, Steward Ceus decided to give them little chance to prove that they could when he put the team on the back foot in the 11th minute. David Ferreira launched a long ball up the pitch that Ceus decided to run out of his box to catch, and only after he was six yards away from the safe zone did he realize that he would be instantly red carded if he reached up to grab it. (It might have been too far over his head any way, there were very few ways that he could have jacked that chance up more.) Jackson latched on to the wide open chance and put Dallas up 1-0 in short order.
To their credit, Colorado refused to fold, as we saw them do often last season. They continued to hold the ball in the midfield and make smart runs forward. A combination of some fine defensive work by Dallas and some youthful inexperience -- along with some clear chemistry issues between a lot of the newbies to the team -- kept the Rapids off the scoreboard in the end, but it certainly wasn't for lack of trying.
For a game that a lot of us expected to get absolutely smoked in, I think we saw a team that might just be a bit better than we thought this year after the performance we were given. Just, please, Matt Pickens? Get well soon.