COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Everything seemed to be clicking for the Colorado Rapids on Sunday night.
Playing last-place D.C. United on a perfect summer evening in suburban Denver, the Rapids were creating chance after chance in a full-on assault on the United goal on Sunday. It seemed all but inevitable that one of the their 23 attempts on goal would wind up behind United goalkeeper Joe Willis’ net.
But 90 minutes later, and the Rapids were left shaking their heads following a frustrating 0-0 draw with last-placed D.C. United at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where a combination of missed chances and bad luck kept Colorado from claiming the three points they felt they deserved.
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“That’s the way the game is,” said head coach Oscar Pareja, who watched the first scoreless draw in his 54th game as Rapids skipper on Sunday night. “You’ve got to give credit to the players today that got 23 attempts to goal. Probably, they doubled the attempts that we had in the last game [a 2-0 win over New York], but we couldn’t score. The game is cruel.”
Willis was spectacular between the posts for the visitors, recording seven saves, including two big late reflex stops against Rapids striker Deshorn Brown. But luck also played a part in steering Germán Mera’s 33rd minute header off the post and away from danger.
“[Willis] had a phenomenal game, he showed up today,” Brown told MLSsoccer.com postgame. “We’ve just got to hold our heads up and get ready to play New England [on July 17].”
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The Rapids came into Sunday’s game on a scoring frenzy, having racked up six goals in their last two games, but Pareja said something seemed a bit off with his team in front of the net on Sunday night, and it’s something he and the team will try and correct over their upcoming 10-day break.
“[Against Montreal on June 29] we looked calmer, we [had] composure in front of the goal, we were sharp,” Pareja said. “Against New York [this past Thursday], we had the options, they were not too many, but we were sharp in the back today. And today, it was 23 attempts on goal and we came out with no goals. That’s the game.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.