Rapids' Pareja: We are embarrassed, fans deserve better
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It was a franchise record the Colorado Rapids desperately did not want to achieve on Saturday night.
With a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, the Rapids matched a franchise record with their sixth consecutive loss, in which two preventable goals again were the culprits that sent Colorado to yet another agonizing defeat. After the loss, a noticeably fired up head coach Oscar Pareja – after a lengthy post-game message to his team – took the podium and offered Colorado fans a direct apology for his team’s run of form.
HIGHLIGHTS: COL 1, SEA 2
“First of all, I want to extend these words to the Colorado Rapids fans: We’re feeling so bad mostly because the support that the team, the players felt from the fans is incredible,” Pareja said after the match.
“Despite the moment, despite the bad results, despite of this situation when we run out of answers, Colorado Rapids fans are there pushing, giving us a great example. … We feel it. I want to tell them that we are, I’m going to say, embarrassed. Because they deserve more than this.”
With the loss, the Rapids have slipped from fifth place in the West down to a tie for the second-to-last spot in the conference, a full 11 points behind the Galaxy who occupy the West’s final playoff spot.
Despite his players committing several ill-timed and costly mistakes during the recent slump – Seattle’s Eddie Johnson was left unmarked on a second minute header Saturday – Pareja said the blame for the losing streak rested squarely on his shoulders.
“I am the first one to take the full responsibility for the lack of results of the team," he said. "The players have given us 100-plus percent. I see the players on the training ground. I see the players in the locker room. I know how they work, how much they work, to get things the right, to turn things around.
"So I don’t want anyone to [blame] them, because the only one responsible is the coach. We have to find a way to get the teams the way they should be, and the way the way that Colorado Rapids fans need it.”
Players, however, felt that the majority of the blame rested with them, and not their coach.
“Every player on the roster has to look themselves in the mirror, including myself, and we just have to keep clawing,” goalkeeper Matt Pickens said. “We’re the only people in this room that can get it done and we need to be a part of the solution.”