Rapids rue poor finishing in yet another home loss to LA

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – After 45 minutes of action at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Saturday night, the Colorado Rapids looked lost. Not only were they trailing 2-0 to the LA Galaxy -- a side that had not lost in Colorado since 2008 -- but they looked ineffective in the attack, failing to register a single shot on goal.

However, a furious second-half comeback on Saturday night nearly netted the home side an unlikely share of the points. All it took was a simple adjustment at the half.

“I thought we were more aggressive. In the first half we had some options but we hesitated in the last third,” Rapids coach Oscar Pareja said post-game. “In the second half I thought the boys were more [aggressive], we saw we were down and [that we needed] goals, and then they saw we could do it.”

Omar Cummings’ 63rd minute solo effort resulted in the first Rapids goal in three matches – Pareja said post-game Cummings’ performance Saturday was his best all season – and from then on, the Galaxy spent the rest of the match furiously defending to keep the three points they thought they’d locked up at halftime.

HIGHLIGHTS: COL 1, LA 2

“Everyone knew we had to go forward because the goal obviously sparked us,” rookie striker Tony Cascio told MLSsoccer.com post-game. “We just couldn’t finish our opportunities.”

Finishing was certainly the only thing lacking for the Rapids in the final 45 minutes. A questionable call landed Omar Cummings on the penalty spot in the 91st minute, but the Jamaican international’s kick was stopped by sprawling Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders.

Despite the absence of points to show for their efforts, the Rapids were the dominant side in the second half, controlling possession by a 68 to 32 percent margin, and positive words from coach Pareja at the half helped spur the rally.

“I think we were just more patient,” Cascio said. “He thought we were the better team in the first half. He just said go out there, we have nothing to lose.”

The 3-4-0 Rapids will hope to take the momentum gained from the tough defeat into next Saturday’s clash with Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.