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Miscues suddenly a troubling trend for struggling Rapids

Matt Pickens

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids’ defensive breakdowns are slowly morphing into a concerning trend.

In an otherwise clean game from the Rapids backline on Wednesday — Vancouver only had three attempts on goal all night — it was one simple whiff of the ball that led to the match’s lone goal and a 1-0 victory for the visiting Whitecaps.

On Jordan Harvey’s 43rd-minute cross into the box, center back Marvell Wynne attempted to stab the cross to safety but missed, and the ball then deflected off Rapids defender Drew Moor and straight to 'Caps striker Darren Mattocks, who fired home for the deciding goal.

WATCH: Mattocks punishes Rapids

The miscue was the latest in a string of troubling defensive breakdowns for the Rapids, who also lost 1-0 June 16 at Vancouver on a missed assignment in the back four. A pair of defensive mistakes in the final 10 minutes also cost the Rapids in a 2-1 loss to San Jose on June 20.

“We have the initiative and then that’s the game,” head coach Oscar Pareja said after Wednesday’s loss, the Rapids’ third in the past four games. “The game is just … the result comes on a play tonight like, it was a mistake. Last game we scored three goals and tonight we could not, and that’s what gives you points.”

Colorado's recent play has put them on the fringe of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, clinging to the fifth and final spot. But if the Rapids hope to charge up the standings, the sloppy defensive miscues that have cost the team as many as nine points in the past three weeks will have to end.

“We definitely had our opportunities to not only tie the game up but win the game in the second half,” Moor told MLSsoccer.com. “We need to learn to win games like this. We need to learn to get back into a game like that and not just tie it, but win it. This is a game that we have to win.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.