Sometimes winning a soccer game is about getting lucky and hitting the slot machine at the right time. The Colorado Rapids, on the other hand, couldn’t get soda out of the machine even when they produced exact change.
Colorado went down to defeat against MLS expansion side Minnesota United 1-0 on Sunday. Both sides saw a handful of good chances. The Rapids blew their big opportunity, while Minnesota cashed in on theirs for the game’s only goal.
The Rapids big chance came at 61 min. A Marlon Hairston pass into the right corner was met by Kevin Doyle and Eric Miller. Doyle dummied and screened away the defender while Eric Miller served in a low and gentle cross right to Dom Badji, who, for lack of a better term, Wondo’ed the living hell out of the ball from just 5 yards out. I mean...
At 72 min., Minnesota took a corner kick that was cleared by Kort Ford. The ball fell to Ibsen just outside the box. The Brazilian struck a near-perfect shot to the base of the far post, where it rattled out to meet the head of Johan Venegas. Venegas banged it to the diving head of Miguel Ibarra, who pounded it home for his first MLS goal.
A sleepy first half produced some physical play and a pair of yellow cards, plus two good Rapids chances. Mohammed Saeid one-timed a shot on a left-sided cross from Mekeil Williams that was blocked by a sliding defender early in the half. Later, Kevin Doyle got on his bicycle inside the 18-yard box, but drilled his face rather than the goal.
The Loons had the better of the chances in the second half. Only a fully extended fingertip save from Zac MacMath and an emergency slide from Kortne Ford averted a goal from Kevin Molino at 54 min. Another reaction save from MacMath punched a sure goal over the bar at 61 min., denying Christian Ramirez. But the dam broke at 72 min., and the Rapids failed to summon a response in the final 18+ minutes.
Some Rapids newcomers proved to be the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing match. A bevy of excellent clearances, strong tackles, and firm close-downs by Kort Ford made the rookie a tough challenge to beat for Minnesota’s attackers. And former Minnesota United midfielder Mohammed Saeid provided crisp and accurate passing as the team’s attacking midfielder. Meanwhile, the match was Colorado’s first against their former teammates, Marc Burch and Sam Cronin, who were traded to Minnesota three weeks prior in exchange for Joshua Gatt and the aforementioned Saeid.
Colorado’s lack of cohesion and fierceness in attack might be the result of a number of injuries. Dillon Serna was out injured this game and Shkelzen Gashi was out sick, to add to the suspensions of Tim Howard and Jared Watts. Axel Sjoberg and Bismark Adjei-Boateng are still nursing more serious injuries, and won’t be back in the near term.
Colorado remains on the road for next Saturday’s game as they travel to Florida for their first-ever match at the newly opened Orlando City Stadium.