Let's be honest with each other. If I had told you that the Colorado Rapids would tie LA Galaxy at home on Saturday night, you probably would have been OK with it. After all, we still have that taste in our mouths from 2014 and 2015 where scoreless ties were the norm for the Rapids.
You would be completely justified to feel that way. Only the most optimistic of fans could have seen this coming.
And yet, there it was. A 95th minute strike from Marco Pappa.
From the post-game Press Conference, Pappa had this to say:
From the beginning of preseason we talked about the games at home and I think we showed tonight that we want to win at home. It's very important that people come respect our house. I think we had a great game, we kept it balanced. Each line, defenders, midfield and forwards did a great job. At the end of the day, we got a result. I'm not just happy for me, I'm happy for the team because they put in a great effort. I came in the 65th minute and all that came into my mind was to do all we can to win the game. I'm sure we'll go home happy.
But were the Rapids the better team? It's a fair question to ask right now. Often times soccer is not fair and the right result does not happen. Goals are flukey at times. Referees make bad decisions. Humans are humans and sometimes things just don't go your way.
Not last night.
Check the statistics:
|Colorado Rapids||LA Galaxy|
|Shots on Goal||8||1|
By every measure, the Rapids were the better team last night. Read that again: the Rapids were the better team last night.
Now, I don't want to get ahead of myself here. It was a massive win. But it was one win in a season that is 34 games long. But.......
The Rapids beat a pretty full strength Galaxy team that has the names that you know: Robbie Keane. Steven Gerrard. Jelle Van Damme
And yet, the Rapids...the team that MLS never talks about, beat the Galaxy at home. Sure, Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena is bitching about his lot in life and how the referees, the wind and the altitude screwed him over:
On the amount of added time...
That was remarkable. Bad judgement. Bad judgement by the fourth official not to question it. That's a 93 minute game at the most and to lose in the 95th minute is a crime. It's disgraceful, it really is.
On Brian Rowe playing a great game...
He did. Let's be fair, it was a crappy game. The conditions with the altitude, the wind, it was a crappy game. In all fairness, you walk off with a point and that's it.
Again, it's one game. Just one game. The Rapids are now 1-1-0 on the season. But for this night. For this match something was different. There was hope in Commerce City.