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#COLvRSL Takeaways: Too many questions, not enough answers from our Colorado Rapids

Red cards, lineup questions, and a 6-0 drubbing from our archrivals.

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

Approaching this edition of Takeaways is difficult. Losing 6-0 to Real Salt Lake here in Commerce City—marking the worst loss by the Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and the worse loss in the history of the Rocky Mountain Cup—is almost too much for supporters to bear.

Here are the takeaways:

  1. While I agree that Niki Jackson’s red card was soft (watch it here), both red cards in this game were careless. You could see the referee warning Jackson repeatedly, but Jackson continued to engage RSL, allowing the emotions of the moment get the best of him when he leaned in with his head. Giving the rookie his first start in such a key and emotionally charged match was a lot to ask. It doesn’t even look like he made contact and yes (again) it was soft, but in moments like those, you can’t give the referee anything to go on. And with Nana Boateng on a yellow already, being careless at the end of the first half in that manner is inexcusable.
  2. That being said, hats off to the nine Rapids left on the pitch in the second half. You gave everything you had, and for you to have to endure that 6-0 drubbing at the hands of your archrival is more than you should have to experience.
  3. The first goal came as a result of the backline making a mistake in a pass and giving the ball to RSL in the final third (check out our new column breaking down these key plays). It must be said that many Rapids supporters are confused. Clearly, with all due respect to Kortne Ford, he is out of position at right back. He’s a center back, and a better option at this point than Danny Wilson. Granted, I’m not a coach, but the game where Marlon Hairston and Edgar Castillo partnered against the LA Galaxy at right and left back brought the most energy and the most complete performance of the year. Yet, Hairston was not even in the 18 tonight, nor was he on the injury report. Many fear that Hairston may be in the proverbial doghouse with Hudson. And many have this thought when it comes to talented players, “Oh no! Not again!”
  4. Speaking of “not again.” Many of us will never receive specific answers to every issue that arises, but some of the decisions are particularly puzzling (a tune we’ve been whistling for the entire year now):
  • Does it seem that many of the Rapids’ most talented players seem to get in the doghouse with Hudson? Could it be because they have lost respect for Hudson?

Consider: Joe Mason (talent in that he actually scored some goals), Stefan Aigner (mercurial, but talented), Yannick Boli (scored bags of goals in China, for what it’s worth, but left on an island when Hudson played a 1-0-9 formation during the middle of the year, so given no chance), and let’s not forget Shkelzen Gashi. And if (I’m speculating mightily here) Hairston is in the doghouse now with the talent and pace he has shown—I and many other Rapids supporters are not only at a loss, but have moved past frustration into outright apathy.

  • Another question is: What in the world is happening in practice that keeps these players out of games? What are Boli and Gashi doing/not doing? And if this is a persistent issue, isn’t there a way that Hudson or some of the coaches can help them work out of these problem areas? Granted, if the players do not want to put forth the effort, there’s not much a coaching staff can do, but is it not incumbent on the coaching staff as well to provide needed environments to bring about needed momentum from the players?

Again, I am speculating on a number of fronts. Unless we know of the particulars, we all are.

But this game raised more questions:

Will supporters get answers?

Will an official apology come?

Will the momentum change this season?