COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It’s not just that the Colorado Rapids have lost five of their last six games. It’s not just that the Rapids have lost each of those five games by just a single goal. It’s not even just that defensive lapses in concentration are at the root of each of those losses.
It’s everything together that has combined to leave the Rapids at the breaking point following Saturday night’s crushing, 2-1 defeat to FC Dallas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“It’s pretty damn embarrassing,” goalkeeper Matt Pickens told reporters post-game Saturday. “This is the toughest stretch I’ve ever been on as a soccer player. But you can’t do anything but get back on the field and keep working.”
HIGHLIGHTS: COL vs DAL
In the Rapids’ latest meltdown, they allowed last-place FCD – who entered the contest with an 0-7-1 road mark on the season, and on a 13-game winless skid – to score two goals in the game’s final half hour. Dallas walked out with their first win in three months and the Rapids crawled home after another decisive kick in the gut.
“Not being able to get results in a game like tonight is probably a [reflection] of what has been happening in many of the other games. We do a lot of good things but then we don’t finalize the job,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said post-game. “It is frustrating. But we cannot lose our heads.”
Colorado controlled large stretch of the contest as they did in the majority of their five losses in the past month, but déjà vu struck the superior side again as well. Poor finishing – Colorado managed only Omar Cummings’ 50th-minute goal despite controlling possession 58-42 and recording 15 shots – and sloppy late defending conspired to undo the home side yet again.
“Collectively we just keep finding ways to shoot ourselves in the foot,” striker Conor Casey said post-game. “We had a lot of chances in the first half again and don’t finish, and when you don’t finish, then it makes it a lot harder on us. It’s just disappointing and we keep finding ways to not get the points.”
The Rapids now find themselves needing to collect points on the road, with two tricky away tests looming in Toronto on Wednesday and against rival Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
The short turnaround could be a blessing.
“The sooner we play the better,” Casey said. “It gives us a chance to set things straight and try and put the last games behind us and stop thinking about it and just go out and win one game. That’s the goal right now.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.