Colorado Rapids captain Drew Moor isn’t known for being a rah-rah, in-your-face type of leader. The veteran defender prefers – by his own admission – to lead by example.
That’s what made his reaction to Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to FC Dallas surprising -- and important.
“Everybody, myself included, first and foremost, needs to go take a good, long hard look at ourselves in the mirror and ask if we’re giving enough for this team,” Moor said after the match. “Right now, I’m not, and I don’t think anybody else in there would say they are, either.”
The Rapids have earned just five points from their previous seven matches, and the loss to Dallas was the club's third straight.
Most alarmingly, the Dallas loss occurred in strikingly similar fashion to other recent losses. The Rapids were down two goals within the first quarter of an hour; they struggled to finish in the final third; and the backline was punished for lapses in concentration.
The string of repeated errors also led typically positive head coach Pablo Mastroeni to also take a noticeably harsher tone in his postgame comments.
“Once again, I think we were our biggest enemies [Saturday],” Mastroeni, the Rapids’ head coach, said postgame. “[The early goals] just come down to concentration and focus. You’ve got to want to do anything you can, and it’s not that hard. You’ve got to find a way to believe you’re not going to concede a goal in the first 15 minutes of any game. And right now, it happens once and then our head goes down.”
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The Rapids have not won on the road since April, and they won't break that duck easily. They face a brutal stretch of three road games out of their next four matches, including trips to Eastern Conference 2nd-place D.C. United next week followed by visits to Western Conference powerhouses Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy. Squeezed in the middle is a home match against the Galaxy.
Needless to say, it’s "put up or shut up" time in Commerce City.
“These are important points on the table that we’re not picking up,” Moor said. “By no means are we out of it, by no means are we in a bad position right now. We’re just not playing well. We’re not doing enough.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.