I'm not sure why we tried to convince ourselves that things would be different, because things are never different when the San Jose Earthquakes are involved. As per usual, the Quakes put on a hideous display of 'soccer' in front of a Dick's Sporting Goods Park crowd shrunk by rain and the Avalanche playoff game tonight, and the Rapids couldn't find their way through the wall of elbows and hurling bodies.
Mastroeni kept his 4-4-2 from the Canadian roadtrip, but added some attacking flair in Vicente Sanchez so they could finally get that flaring midfielder that the 4-4-2 seemed to be calling for. The team looked decent for the majority of the game, and not a person would have batted an eyelash had the Rapids ended up winning it, but the offense was misfiring a bit from the very start of the game, the passing in the final third was an inch or two off, and the Rapids never managed to find the goal they needed.
The conditions were decent at the start of the match, but quickly started to go downhill as rain started pelting DSGP. San Jose got what ended up being the best chance of the entire match right at the start as Alan Gordan slammed a header off the crossbar only 35 seconds in. After that, it was all Rapids in possession, and they managed to snag a decent chance or two out of it. Unfortunately, every decent passing sequence seemed to feature one awful misplay from the midfield, and Thomas Piermayr and Chris Klute couldn't get quite far enough up the field to make it happen themselves.
Despite every other match being 0-0 at the half this season, the Rapids have managed to snag three wins. This time, there was just a recursive loop going on for the Rapids, and even the introduction of Dillon Serna wasn't enough to truly spark the Rapids into action. They picked a bad game to misfire offensively, as the Quakes were clearly more interested in beating the hell out of the Rapids and earning the point than they were about winning it as the second half wore on. San Jose's best chance came off of a completely missed call by the referee as Alan Gordon slammed Shane O'Neill in the face with his elbow and was free in front of goal, only to watch the cross in miss him.
Later in the half, the Elbows struck again, but this time they didn't escape unscathed. Adam Jahn, who had come in for Gordon minutes earlier, smashed Jared Watts in the face with an elbow off the ball and, after a lengthy chat with the fourth official, the referee sent him off. Unfortunately, the misfiring offense continued to whiff on chance after chance, and against a big Quakes defense, the Rapids' crosses were swallowed up nearly every time.
Best just to forget that one ever happened and look forward to an actually watchable game against the Seattle Sounders.