COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni didn’t try to hide the obvious: something was simply and clearly off with his club on Friday night during their 1-1 tie with the Columbus Crew at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Possession was cheap, giveaways were frequent and flow was hard to come by for the Rapids, who entered Friday’s game in one of their better grooves of the season.
Even at that, the Rapids owned a 1-0 lead with less than a quarter hour to go. But a bad back pass from Rapids midfielder Dillon Powers led to an even worse play from rookie midfielder Jared Watts, whose first touch went straight to Columbus’ Ryan Finlay for the deserved 76th-minute equalizer.
But Mastroeni didn’t want to point any fingers at Watts or anyone else.
“I’m not a blame guy. If I’m going to blame anyone, it’s myself. I don’t look at individual errors,” Mastoreni told reporters about the match. “They had a couple other opportunities to score [and] that just happened to be the one.
“So that’s just one of those moments where you’re just like, ‘Oh, that’s a critical moment.’ But there [were] probably 27 or 28 critical moments in that game where we did not do well in. So to highlight that for me is trying to throw the blame on somebody else.”
As for Watts himself, the rookie took full blame for the mistake and attributed the error to his decision-making.
“I thought I was there, I thought I could time it, just a miscue,” Watts said postgame. “I kind of got caught in between, do I need to take a touch? Should I just clear it one touch? And I just put it right at his foot and he was able to score.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.