Rapids bewildered by home loss
After taking one step forward last week with a win against Columbus, the Colorado Rapids took one right back tonight, coming up on the short end of the scoreline in a 3-1 loss to the Metrostars. The loss was the first time in the last 25 regular season home games that the Rapids had allowed their opponent to score two or more goals.
"We looked lost out there from the start," said center back Nat Borchers. "We couldn't sort out their offense, we weren't getting stuck in on tackles, and we were giving the ball away way too easily. They took it to us at home and that should never happen."
Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo believes the problem lies with the team's approach on the field.
"We're too tentative," said Clavijo. "We were marking in between two players and passing two steps behind the player we target."
Winger Terry Cooke agreed with his coach's assessment. "We need to start finding the other teams weak spots early instead of waiting until the end of the game. Especially at home, we should be taking the game to them."
Goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who before tonight had never surrendered a hat trick in MLS play, believes that there might be a defect in the Rapids attitude toward this game.
"Last week might have given us a false sense of security, that we could come out at home and play calm and just win," said Cannon. "I think tonight we were very soft and I think they came out and wanted it more than we did."
Regardless of their approach, the Rapids will seek to reduce the number of their on-field errors.
"We started really poor and sloppy and they capitalized on our mistakes," said Cooke. "It really hurt us in playing the ball forward -- we would play a sloppy ball and they would score on our mistakes."
Cannon agreed. "The Metrostars did a great job of capitalizing on our mistakes. Let's be honest: it could have easily been five or six to nothing. They set the tone early and we were never able to get back into the game. We have to give them credit for that."
Geoffrey Urland is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.