The Rapids fell to the Portland Timbers last Friday thanks to, well... thanks to a number of reasons. Though many will point to injuries or suspensions (they certainly played their part), Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni said it in his post game comments:
"I thought the guys went out and played really well, played hard, really controlled the tempo in the first half and parts of the second…. I think we lost to a world-class strike. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat. On to the next one."
For those who missed the match, things began unraveling for the Rapids when Deshorn Brown and Marlon Hairston (who's terrific work-rate on the night cannot be over-stated) went down to injury. It's easy to look at the Timbers Home record (1-2-7) and place in the standings (8th in the West) prior to the match and wonder why the Rapids couldn't come out with a result, but let's take a look at the positives for a moment.
The Rapids came into Providence Park (a place they've never played particularly well) with two starters out to suspension including, arguably, their best player, and one starter out to injury. Despite this, they managed to have the better run of play throughout the first half. That alone speaks volumes. Then they lose their two most influential players on the night and still almost come out with a road point.
But, alas, Diego Valeri pulled a "Diego Valeri" and won the game with one moment of sheer brilliance. Remember when the Rapids played one of their worst games of the season in Vancouver and came away 2-0 winners thanks to two wonder-goals by Jose Mari? As they say, what goes around comes around.
In the end, there's no reason to look at this loss and think "winless in three" and get down-trodden. It's easy to do that because as Rapids fans we are becoming hungrier. Fifth place in the West isn't enough to satiate our appetite. We want more. And it's one hundred percent attainable.
So, as Mastroeni said, it's on to the next one.