Everything started out great. Amazing even. The Colorado Rapids ran Sporting Kansas City all over the field and came out strong. In just the 5th minute, Jack Price crossed an amazing ball to Edgar Castillo, who brought it down and sent it into the box to Dominique Badji. Badji volleyed it in past Tim Melia to get things going. It was gorgeous.
Three minutes later, Joe Mason ran down the ball and opened his MLS account on his Rapids debut. Also gorgeous.
For about 30-ish minutes, Colorado continued to hammer Kansas City. But as Dominique Badji said in a post-game interview, “I think we stuck to the game plan for about 30 minutes and then kind of just threw it out the window, got a little complacent, got comfortable after being two goals up, you know, that’ll get you.”
At halftime, Peter Vermes brought in Jimmy Medranda, who impacted the game almost immediately. According to midfielder Roger Espinoza, the message in the locker room was “we dug ourselves a hole and we needed to get out of it. He did some small tactical changes. We knew we needed to defend better and attack better. That’s what we did. It took a while, but we knew by the end we were going to have some chances.”
And have some chances, they did. Tim Howard came up with several big saves throughout the game, but in the end, the Rapids couldn’t keep SKC from scoring. During the 57th minute, Yohan Croizet had a header bounce off the crossbar and Felipe Gutiérrez stepped up with no one around and puts it in. It looked like Johan Blomberg just let Gutiérrez run in and Danny Wilson was blocked by Khiry Shelton, so he couldn’t get to the ball in time. In short, it was a mess.
SKC kept up the attack but it looked like Colorado was going to get out of the game with three points. And then this happened in the first minute of stoppage time:
Another mess as Diego Rubio easily put it past Tim Howard to earn a road point for Kansas City. As Brendan mentioned in the game preview, that’s what these teams do—“between the 76-90th minutes both teams have scored more than 25 goals against each other (Colorado with 26, Sporting with 29).”
After the game, Rapids Head Coach Anthony Hudson expressed his gratitude for the fans. “I think the first thing I’ve got to do is thank the fans tonight, you know before the game during the game, the atmosphere was incredible. If we get that type of support, it’s just massive for us massive for the team so we need to thank the fans.”
And then expressed his disappointment about the result: “To have gone two nil up and concede so late its similar in this last game against New England, we come in and we are disappointed, very disappointed but again as we have been saying this is a process in the sense of so many new players. Joe Mason is still another step in the right direction and certainly a lot to build on for tonight.”
Hudson only has two regular season games under his belt, and there have definitely been some bright spots in what we’ve seen so far. Yes, there is still work to do, but we haven’t seen Yannick Boli yet and I think we’re already seeing improvement from the New England game. The Burgundy Boys get to stay home again next week to take on the Philadelphia Union, who has yet to play an away game this season.