Jess Houwen - Colorado Rapids/mlsfemale
Official Colorado Rapids Reporter

By Jess Houwen // @jesshuh15

Saturday, August 25: 0-6 Loss

Saturday was painful. There’s really no other way around it. The best words I have to describe it are that it was an absolute Charlie Foxtrot.

The Colorado Rapids were facing off against their Rocky Mountain rivals, Real Salt Lake for the third, and final, leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup. They needed to win by four goals in order to overcome the scoring differential and win the shiny trophy. That didn’t happen. In fact, the exact opposite happened – Colorado lost 6-0. I have never heard a crowd boo the team like they did Saturday night. Nor have I heard of the supporter’s group awarding themselves the Man of the Match oar at the end of the game.

I, like many other Rapids fans, am frustrated. We have been promised much and given little. The great offseason signings haven’t produced much, though I have seen an improvement in Jack Price as the season has gone on. The coach that was supposed to do great things, has proven to be slow to change when something isn’t working and stubbornly devoted to the players he brought in. I can understand the fans who want their money back from the RSL game.

From the start, the Rapids weren’t in the game mentally. I have no idea what happened to the Burgundy Boys that knew how to win or could pull out ninetieth-minute game winners, but this group wasn’t them. The mistakes came early and they came frequently. Before the 45th minute had ticked off the clock, they were down by 2 goals and 2 men. The lack of communication and the fact that they had 8 field players to cover the space spelled disaster for the Rapids.

The Red Cards.

These were foolish, dumb mistakes that both players should have known better. The first was shown to forward Niki Jackson in the ninth minute for head-butting Albert Rusnák after being provoked by both Rusnák and Damir Kreilach. It was an incredibly soft red card as there was barely any contact. The problem is, he dropped his head, and there was contact. It was the right call. This was Jackson’s first start with the team and in MLS so this one can be filed under “Mistakes that won’t be repeated.”

The second red was on Nana Boateng in the 43rd minute. Boateng was already sitting on a yellow card for a late tackle on Rusnák in the 19th minute. The ref missed a call, and a card quite frankly, in the 30th minute when he came in late on Brooks Lennon and stomped on his foot. The final strike for Nana came in the 43rd minute when he came in, late, on Brooks Lennon, again, and caught him just under his knee with his studs.

Again, this was the right call. While Jackson’s red card can be chalked up to a rookie error, Nana Boateng has been playing professionally since 2012. He knows better.

The Cons:

  1. Lack of Communication – each player seemed like they were in their own world for the full 90+ minutes of this game. Sure, they found some spaces to make plays in – but they could not capitalize on the opportunities handed to them.
  2. The defense – Axel Sjöberg has been out due to an MCL injury and it’s obvious. The back line is far more cohesive when he’s in. I know that needs to heal, but the Rapids need to find someone who can handle the back line like he does to step in.
  3. Nana Boateng, Danny Wilson – why these two have starting positions is beyond me. Both should go the way of Yannick Boli and hang out on the bench of the practice squad. I enjoyed Boateng’s physicality when he first joined the team until I realized that his physicality seemed out of his own control. Danny Wilson is just not good. If he has been performing well in practice, and this is why he’s getting minutes, something needs to be fixed to get that to transfer into games.

The Pros:

  1. Rapid Man: Any longstanding Rapids fan can remember Rapid Man from the early days of the club. He was the club mascot whose head looked like a wave. According to the Rapids website, he retired in 2007, but he made a brief appearance on the stairs to the dressing rooms on Saturday.
  2. C38: The supporter’s group fought harder for the game than the players on the field did. As the game went on, they got louder. There were a lot of people that left the game early, but you couldn’t hear the difference out of the supporter group.
  3. One game: This is all this was. One game. The Rapids get to start over on the 8th with zeroes on the scoreboard. The playoffs are definitely out of reach at this point, but maybe we can spoil someone else’s run.

The Rapids will face the Portland Timbers in Portland on Saturday, September 8th.

Featured image: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @jesshuh15

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