The Rapids came into last Saturday’s home match against Seattle on a two-win high following a 1-0 home victory over archrivals Real Salt Lake and the first road win of the season, also 1-0 over Chivas. Pre-match speculation said we could take an easy 3 points against the (then) still winless Seattle, but having been in Seattle’s position two weeks ago, we should have known a team fighting for their first win isn’t going to go down without a fight.
Colorado had good possession, strung solid plays together, and created good chances; they just couldn’t capitalize on the chances they created (Danny Mwanga missed one that was almost inexcusable), and weren’t able to recover from Seattle’s 26th minute goal. Sounders walked away from the match with their first win of the season, and the Rapids walked away with the last thing they needed: more injuries.
Edson Buddle was listed in the Rapids’ original game day roster, but was removed last minute for right knee pain. Defender Marvell Wynne went down in the 55th and was subbed out with a right quad strain. Buddle and Wynne are injuries numbers eight and nine of our starting 11. Our lineup is so depleted that an agreement had to be made with the US U-20 team so that Shane O’Neill wouldn’t be called into camp (Dillon Serna still made the cut). Coach Oscar Pareja described the number of injuries plaguing his team as “unbelievable,” and I have to agree.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Some of our young guys really have stepped up, and opportunity they may not have been given with a healthier roster. Keeper Clint Irwin continues to be a beast. I’ve been impressed with Klute; Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown are both in the running for Rookie of the Year. There haven’t been many moments this season where I’ve felt like we were sincerely being outplayed. Also, Martin Rivero has been back in training and saw some minutes in this weekend’s reserve match, which is heartening.
It’s hard to speculate what will come next for the Rapids, because the season has already been so unpredictable. I remain cautiously optimistic about what our younger guys can do, though. On paper, we should have won the Seattle match. We dominated every area but the one that counts. If we can do better to finish our chances, we can take three points on the road in Houston this weekend.
(image courtesy of coloradorapids.com)