COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — When Martín Rivero’s 75th-minute free kick banged off the crossbar Saturday night, it served as a fitting microcosm for the Colorado Rapids’ woes of late.
In a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids held a slight advantage in possession, had more than double the chances on the Seattle net (17-8) and landed four shots on goal — yet Colorado walked away losers for the sixth straight time.
But while bad luck might have appeared to have played a role in the Rapids’ struggles in a miserable July (0-6-0), luck is no longer a fallback.
“They are conscious of being strong and not using more excuses because they don’t want more excuses,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja (above) said after the franchise record-tying sixth consecutive defeat. “They don’t want to say, ‘Oh, but we played better, we had many chances but we had just two mistakes.’ They don’t want that, they don’t want me to say that anymore. [We are both] tired of those excuses. We have to give answers, and the answers have to come with results.”
HIGHLIGHTS: COL 1, SEA 2
Two defensive lapses of concentration on Saturday — a troubling running theme of Colorado’s losing streak — were again the problems in a mostly solid game otherwise from the Rapids. A second-minute Eddie Johnson header off a corner kick gave Seattle the lead from the get-go, and a giveaway led to Osvaldo Alonso’s 65th-minute game-winning volley.
“We’re down 1-0 a minute and a half into the game, and it’s pretty pathetic,” Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. “We need to be better. We need to look ourselves in the mirror. There are no excuses. We’ve seen it before, we’re seeing it again, and we keep seeing it. We’re the only people in this room that are going to be able to change it.”
Colorado have fallen well out of the playoff picture during the slide, going from fifth to a tie for seventh in the Western Conference and a full 11 points behind the LA Galaxy for the final playoff spot in the West. With 12 games to go on the season, the Rapids know the only way to get the ball bouncing back their way is through more effort.
“We have to put our heads down and work harder,” midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said. “I think that there are little things that let us down. I couldn’t say that we played poorly overall, but there are instances in the game that don’t turn out well and then [we] concede goals.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.