Given the Colorado Rapids’ recent run of form, number of games in the last week, and being on the road, I was afraid things might not go well tonight. But at the very least, I was hoping it wouldn’t be a complete train wreck.
Anthony Hudson starting with a 5-4-1 and the Rapids had to fight off a fairly consistent attack. Ten minutes into the game, Houston had 84% possession and they didn’t let up until Tomás Martínez put in their first goal in the 31st minute. A few minutes later, Danny Wilson had an errant pass that went right to Houston. The ball got to DaMarcus Beasley, who was fouled in the box by Johan Blomberg. Mauro Manotas took the PK and easily scored.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Yannick Boli got frustrated and hit a Houston defender in the face while battling for the ball. It was an easy straight red, but I get why he was frustrated. Earlier in the game, his Achilles got raked and at one point there was blood on his sock. There were multiple fouls that didn’t get called, the team was losing 2-0 and it’s god awful humid there—a guy is gonna get frustrated. But, his lack of discipline put the team down 2-0 and down a man for the rest of the game.
The Rapids came out in the second half in a 4-4-1, but it quickly began to look more like a 5-3-1. Richard Fleming asked why they didn’t play a more attacking formation, and Marcelo Balboa pointed out that they couldn’t afford to give up another goal and needed to focus on going on the counter-attack. I understand what Marcelo was saying, but at the same time, it just didn’t seem like they were making an attempt to get back into this game.
A big stat from the Nashville game was that the Rapids didn’t get a single shot on goal. Tonight, Colorado didn’t get one until Jack Price took a shot in the 57th minute. But that was it in this game. One shot on goal. Before that, they had two shots on goal vs. Vancouver. So in the last three games, the Rapids have had a total of three shots on goal (they had six in the loss vs. Portland before Vancouver).
At the end of it, the Rapids somehow didn’t give up a goal in the second half with a man down, and the final score was 2-0. The Rapids have set a club record for longest losing streak in the MLS regular season with eight, but the streak is nine if you include the Open Cup loss.
Tim Howard had some great saves tonight, including a save before the first goal was scored. He had a tip and a dive in the second half that was a glimmer of Howard in his prime. Despite the result, I think this was one of Howard’s best games this season.