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#HOUvCOL Rapid Fire: Took the foot off the gas too early

The Rapids took a 2-0 lead into the half, but took the foot off the gas too early.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Houston Dynamo Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids failed to hold a 2-0 lead on Saturday, giving up two goals in the last fifteen minutes to leave hot, humid Houston with a draw against the Houston Dynamo. This was a frustrating tie and served as the final nail in the coffin of any playoff hopes the Rapids might have.

Here are some takeaways:

  1. Houston came into this game on a four-game losing streak and in a bit of a tailspin. In the week prior to the match, the Dynamo fired head coach Wilmer Cabrera, hoping that this might provide a spark and a fresh start. But for 75 minutes of the match, it didn’t seem to have that effect.
  2. Seeing Diego Rubio (COL) and Mauro Manotas (HOU) score their respective braces was a thing to behold. Both men have served as bright spots for their teams, with Manotas now scoring in double digits for the third consecutive season. On our side, Rapids supporters should commend Rubio’s work rate. How he controlled the ball with a lovely first touch to put it away on the first goal was a thing of beauty. Just before the half, he put the ball on a platter for Sam Nicholson for what could have put the Rapids up 3-0.
  3. The Rapids are not built for possession, thus rely on the counter and set pieces, as all too many have noticed. That did not serve them well with (1) a midweek game in Minnesota just three days prior and (2) suffering in that heat and humidity, something that does not abound in Denver. Even so, the Rapids took the foot off the pedal too early, wasting far too much time far too early in the match. While the Burgundy Boys do not specialize in possession, they have enough talent to keep the pressure on just long enough to add that third goal.
  4. Sammy Vines earned his keep this game. With the exception of a couple of hiccups, he shut down his side of the field with his strength and pace. The Rapids have some fantastic young pieces on which to build in 2020. (I’m still waiting with bated breath regarding the future of Lalas Abubakar in a Rapids uniform.)
  5. The final leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup is next week, as the Rapids travel to Sandy, Utah, to take on Real Salt Lake at 8:00 MT on Saturday. The Rapids are only down one goal. Here’s hoping for a 2-0 win to the good guys to salvage some hardware and make the playoff run for Real Salt Lake more difficult.
  6. Lastly, though Johan Blomberg did not have the most auspicious career in Colorado, I will always remember this long cross that he put on a dime to forward Niki Jackson against New England back on March 10, 2018. Enjoy:

What did you take away from this game? Tell us in the comments below!