It looked like the Colorado Rapids were going to take away a win, thanks again to Marlon Hairston. Hairston blocked an attempted clear from a defender, and embarrassed Chris Seitz by dribbling around the FC Dallas goalkeeper in the 44th minute.
And then late in the second half, Victor Ulloa quieted the stadium when he stepped up to a deflected shot and blasted it past Tim Howard into the upper 90. The Rapids had control of the ball for 60% of the game, but unfortunately couldn't manage to get another one in the net. We were all glad to have Tim Howard back there tonight, who had a couple clutch saves in the 45+ minute and than again in the 83rd minute, keeping us in it. Even though the Rapids didn't win tonight, it was a pretty good game overall between two evenly matched teams.
Let's look at the positives that we can take away from this game:
1. Marlon Hairston is a super starter, not just a super sub. He has now scored the Rapids' only goals in the last two games. Hairston could have had a second goal in tonight's game if he would have let go of the ball sooner.
2. The unbeaten streak continues, and the Rapids are still unbeaten at home. Tonight was game 15 of the unbeaten streak. While we all wanted to put another in the "W" category, unbeaten is an acceptable outcome.
3. We still got a point. The Rapids are still just three points behind FC Dallas, who has three games in hand. Tim Howard definitely was a key player in getting a tie tonight.
What the Rapids can learn from tonight's game:
1. Jared Watts still has some work to do. Right after I call him my biggest surprise of the season for how well he has been playing, tonight happens. Watts didn't play terribly, but had some really dangerous passes and errant clearances go awry. He also missed a big tackle that led to the break that eventually ended in a goal.
2. You have to close down the space every time. The one time the Rapids (cough cough Sam Cronin) didn't step up to the player and close down the space, Dallas made Colorado pay and shot it into the back of the net.
3. FC Dallas' head coach Oscar Pareja likes to rub salt in wounds. You can't tell me that subbing in Agustin "the Hatchetman" Jara in with four minutes left in the game was not an intentional jab at what happened in the Open Cup game. This guy has barely played for Dallas since coming to the team in May (before tonight, he had played just 8 MLS minutes), but he comes in to this game? Nice, Pareja.
What do you think the Rapids can take away from the game tonight?