The Colorado Rapids are beginning to make slow starts a bad habit. For the fourth time in as many games this season, the Rapids conceded a first goal in the first quarter-hour of the game.
Saturday night it happened again. Brian Ching put home the rebound of his own saved header from a corner kick in the 16th minute, and it was the only goal as Houston Dynamo defeated the Rapids 1-0 at Invesco Field.
"It is something we need to work on, we are working on it. ... It happened against Columbus and we managed to come back, it happened against Dallas and we managed to come back, but today we did not," said Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo.
"Today there was really only one chance that they had in the first half ... and we gave it away. We create our own problems and we are our own worst enemies sometimes."
Although the Rapids held the edge on Houston in shots and corner kicks, and seemed to control the midfield battle, they could not convert on any of their chances, and seem to still be in search of an offensive identity.
"It's early. ... We are just trying to figure things out, and get guys in a position to do their jobs," said midfielder Clint Mathis.
"We want to get the ball out wide and get service in; that's where we have been the most successful with Dedi [Ben Dayan] and [Terry] Cooke, getting on the outside either coming in the back door or crossing the ball in themselves. We need to continue to work on set pieces ... but as time goes on we'll start to develop an identity."
Clavijo agreed that his team was still in its formative stages.
"We are still searching. I think we have a very good team," said Clavijo. "We fought to try to get to get back in the game ... but we need to play the first half like we played the second half, and we have not been able to do that just yet."
With the season still young, the Rapids are confident that once they tighten up in the beginning of games they will start to see consistent positive results.
"Our Achilles heel has been giving up early goals and it's going to be hard to win when you do that, but it's nothing to worry about," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. "I'm not upset with the loss. It's early in the season ... and we're going to build on each game. Like Colorado always does, we're going to peak late and win a lot of games."
Geoffrey Urland is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.