At some point this week, I'm going to bring out some Colorado Rapids bingo cards, because this team is so predictable it hurts. I said last week that the Real Salt Lake loss was a perfect representation of how this team had been doing this year, and we got another fantastic look at the good, bad and ugly (mostly bad and ugly) of the 2014 Rapids in their 3-1 loss to FC Dallas.
The game actually started off fairly promising for the away side -- how many times have we heard that one before? -- as Deshorn Brown and Carlos Alvarez combined for a pair of early chances. Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of this season's Rapids team is giving up early goals, and they gave up a pair this time around. First, Matt Hedges opened the scoring for the Hoops in the ninth minute after a shambolic defensive display left not one, but two Dallas players wide open in front of Clint Irwin. He stopped the initial chance, but the second was an easy tap-in for the Dallas center back.
Things escalated only two minutes later as Marvell Wynne attempted a pair of sliding tackles in the penalty area, getting punished for the second. It was a bit of a weak penalty, but still a call that one would reasonably expect to see after a pair of slide tackles in the box. Michel finished the penalty past Clint Irwin, and all of a sudden it was 2-0 only 11 minutes into the match.
In most cases, that would signal the end for a team, but this game was a quite interesting one. The Rapids had, by most counts, controlled the play prior to the two goal burst by Dallas, and they continued to control it after, as well. When you hear this game described as 'frustrating', that's the reason why. Colorado had every opportunity to grab a goal back, or even a duo of goals back, before the end of the first half. Essentially every statistic except for goals belonged to the Rapids.
By the end of the match, the Rapids had outshot Dallas 24-7. I'm going to repeat that, because it sounds like a Gridiron Football score. The Rapids outshot Dallas 24-7. They had seven corners to Dallas' one. They out-crossed Dallas 19-4. They also lost 3-0.
Though Colorado did get a consolation goal at the end -- Gabriel Torres continues his rise back to life! -- this match perfectly summed up the anemic Rapids of 2014. Though they've had their wins and gotten enough points to stay in the playoff picture well into August, it's hard to imagine that this team, with the slide that they're currently on, doing anything resembling a playoff run at the end of the season.