Rapids Notebook: Disputed no-call, more nagging injuries

Hendry Thomas in the midfield vs LA

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids missed a string of chances to claim three points in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy. And the best may have been a potential second-half penalty that wasn’t whistled.

In the 68th minute, Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillón took an awkward tumble in the penalty box following a somewhat awkward challenge by Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez.

Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja volunteered his opinion on the non-call postgame.

“I don’t want to talk about it too much, but I saw a PK as well,” Pareja said. “But it’s what we’ve [gotten] during the whole season.”

The call potentially kept the Rapids from collecting two more valuable points, currently leaving them eight behind the fifth-placed Whitecaps with three games to go.

Thomas, Mullan battling injuries

Hendry Thomas has been a workhorse since arriving from Wigan FC in August, playing in 352 of a possible 360 minutes over the past month.

But on Sunday, Pareja removed Thomas in the 73rd minute for Joseph Nane to help protect the holding midfielder’s right ankle sprain.

“I have a small pain in my ankle,” Thomas told MLSsoccer.com postgame. “It’s better. I feel some pain, but hopefully [Monday] it’ll be better and I can fully train.”

Though he made bench, midfielder Brian Mullan didn’t play on Sunday due to a nagging hamstring injury that had him in and out of practice last week. The Rapids are hopeful that Mullan will be fully available to play on Saturday against San Jose.

O’Neill called up to US U-20

Rapids midfielder Shane O’Neill signed his first professional contract in June, made his professional debut in July and made his first MLS appearance in September. And now, O’Neill can add a call-up to the US U-20 team to his list of growing 2012 accolades.

O’Neill was called up by U-20 head coach Tab Ramos on Monday for this month’s Marbella Cup in Spain, where the US will face Canada, Scotland and Azerbaijan.

The Ireland-born midfielder, who moved to the US when he was just a year old, has said in the past that he would play for his birth country if given the opportunity, but it appears that O’Neill’s future is with the Red, White and Blue – though an appearance in the tournament will not cap-tie him.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.