The Colorado Rapids are still winless following their latest loss, a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Freddy Montero propelled the visiting ‘Caps to a 2-0 lead early in the first half with a goal and an assist to Lass Bangoura before back-to-back PKs taken by Kei Kamara leveled the score at 2-2. Late in the match, substitute Andy Rose earned the game winner with his 87th minute goal putting the score at 3-2 and earning all three points for Vancouver.
Here are three takeaways from the Colorado Rapids’ 3-2 loss to the Whitecaps.
Different coach, same problems
Conor Casey made his coaching debut on Friday following the midweek firing of Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson.
The move was one the front office and Rapids executive VP and GM Padraig Smith had hoped to inject life into the squad.
To some extent, there was fire in the group, rallying back to tie the game despite going down 2-0 early. But Colorado’s penchant for leaking goals is still a problem, one that Casey himself recognized with reporters postgame.
“Unfortunately, the goals against are still catching us in transition. It’s a difficult balance, we want to be attractive, we want to play forward, especially at home, we don’t want to sit back and defend,” Casey said. “That’s not something that I believe in, at the same time it’s clear that we are giving up too many goals, no one’s happy about it and we are going to continue to work on it without trying to be too defensive. It’s a tough balance.”
Colorado’s three goals conceded on Friday night now puts their total at 27 allowed in 10 games, putting them on track for a historic 92 goals allowed (the Rapids’ franchise record for goals allowed in a season is 69).
As stated previously, the fact that Colorado was able to fight back in the match shows that there’s still some morale left in the group, but it was readily apparent that without a win through 10 matches, frustrating is brewing and confidence is waning in the Rapids’ locker room.
Compounding things this week was the firing of Hudson. Despite his poor track record of results, he was still highly respected by many players. Even if certain players may or may not have been on board, no player wants to be seen as a “coach killer”, either.
Kamara explained the circumstances of the team’s latest lost postgame.
“We were positive tonight, and that’s something we wanted heading into tonight’s game,” he said. “Obviously it’s been a tough week, though. Most of us in the locker room were brought in by [Anthony] Hudson, and for him not being a part of the team anymore, and to move on, is just a part of being a professional. [The team] talked about it and knew what we wanted to do, and decided that we just need to be positive going into the game tonight. That being said, everybody was positive. Everybody felt like today was going to be the day, but once again, we got unlucky and the performance just wasn’t good enough.”
On to the next one
Once again, the Rapids are still mathematically alive with nearly a third of the season gone, but are for all practical purposes out of the playoff hunt, needing magic number of 87 (combined points gained by Colorado and dropped by other teams) to make this year’s postseason.
For now, the team’s most urgent task and chance at silverware would be to make strides in the Rocky Mountain Cup, with the first opportunity coming next Saturday at home against Real Salt Lake.
It’s one that the Rapids’ interim manager will be taking seriously.
“First of all, we are excited to have a full house, that’s our biggest game of the year,” said Casey. That’s our top rival and everyone is going to be up for it. Right now it’s just about them recovering mentally and physically and then slowly building into the week and getting ready for our biggest game.”