There's likely going to be a lot of blame thrown around by Colorado Rapids fans after the 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on Friday night, but it's probably unneeded. The Rapids got a couple of dashes of bad luck that ruined what was otherwise a decently-played match for the away side at Providence Park.
The game started on a bright note for the Rapids, as they played some decent soccer despite being depleted of half of their starting lineup early on. They got a goal out of it too, with Deshorn Brown nicking the ball just over the goal-line in the 16th minute during a goal-line scramble. Unfortunately, he was injured about 10 minutes later, effectively ending the game offensively for the Rapids. Danny Mwanga was the replacement, and the attack never had that sharpness it started with for the rest of the game.
Come halftime, after a slew of decent Timbers chances, it looked like the Rapids were either going to need to sit back for 45 minutes or score another goal in order to get a win out of the match. Unfortunately, they tried the first of those options, and it hurt them in the end. The Rapids offense didn't put a whole lot together in the second half, though the Timbers didn't threaten all that much for the most part either.
The big hit for the Rapids came when Marlon Hairston, who had put in a fantastic shift in the midfield, was brought down with injury as well. Hairston had been a big player both offensively and defensively, and missing him gave the Timbers an extra bit of space that they needed.
Portland's first goal came as a result of a fantastic passing sequence, and the second came a short while later when Diego Valeri was given time 30 yards away from the goal and decided to unleash a shot. (This makes the second straight time, by the way, that Valeri has scored a wondergoal against the Rapids on national TV.)
Unfortunately, the Rapids couldn't find a late push for an equalizer. Mwanga, Gabriel Torres and the rest had their chances -- Jared Watts probably had the best chance, but he decided to be fancy with it and cup Donovan Ricketts instead of shooting it -- but nothing found its way into the net. With two really great goals by the opposition and two injuries that absolutely destroyed the Rapids' gameplan, it's hard to put much real blame on this one. There's some home matches coming up where the Rapids will have chances to grab some more points -- we'll have to see if they can snag those points at home after shaking this one off.