If it seems like a broken record, it probably is. The fourth game of the season brought more injuries, more boneheaded plays and another tough loss. Saturday night, the Colorado Rapids dropped a 1-0 result to the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. The game will not be remembered so much for the final result, but more for the non-stop injuries that seem to be plaguing this team
Cue up the Ennio Morricone music for The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Week 4 edition.
The Good: Clint Irwin. The unheralded rookie continues his solid play in the nets and was the only reason the scoreline was not worse. He made a number of solid saves and kept the Rapids in a game they had no right to be in. I know there is a lot of talk of bringing in a third keeper, and where I do support that decision, it needs to be said that Clint is our starter. Period.
The Bad: The injuries. I do believe that injuries are becoming a bigger and bigger issue for the club and you begin to wonder how much more the lads can take. It is the proverbial "baptism by fire" for the younger guys on the club. Whereas it was great to see Pablo Mastroeni back out there, he was gone in the first half with an injury. Diego Calderon went out as well in the first frame after hitting the goal post and he now joins a list that includes Pablo, Matt Pickens, Martin Rivero, Jamie Smith, and Jaime Castrillon. The Rapids are 12% of the way through the season and have already lost four starters to significant injuries in addition to losing another important cog of the wheel (and one of two goal scorers this year).
The Ugly: The listless performance on Saturday night was a troubling one. When looking at the first three games of the season, I felt that a 1-3-0 record would have been acceptable. But save for a goalkeeping error in Dallas, we could have had a point there. We should have beaten Philadelphia and our performance in Salt Lake was solid, but Saturday night was a true step backwards. Was it injuries? Was it a hangover from watching the snow-match on the television on Friday night? Was it a lack of preparation? It is difficult to pinpoint one thing that was the culprit on Saturday night. It would be easy to blame Drew Moor, but his red card was not the deciding feature of the match. A uninspired performance by the team as a whole led to the loss.
A tough result in Los Angeles for sure, but all is not lost. There are two very winnable home games in the next two weeks against Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake. Six points in the next two matches would be massive for the club and supporters. With three of the next four games at Dicks Sporting Goods Park there is a good chance of picking up critical points getting this season back on track.