one bad day and we lose. And it's probably the sickest feeling to lose at home especially to a team that we have dominated here," Barrett said.
Said Busch: "At the end of the day you can look back and say, 'you know what, we had luck last weekend in San Jose and hung on for dear life and pulled off three points, and today we didn't.' And that's the way soccer goes. It is what it is."
After starting the first two matches of the season, Chris Rolfe has missed the last two after suffering an ankle sprain. Stephen King (against San Jose) and John Thorrington (against Kansas City) have filled his place. "He probably could have played, but we want to be cautious," Hamlett said.
Chicago sent 19 shots toward goal in Sunday's match at Toyota Park. The team has outscored opponents 6-2, and one of the goals allowed was an own goal. The Fire have created 46 attempts at goal.
"The good thing is we're creating chances," Busch said. "We broke them down very well today. Kevin [Hartman] played a good game. Hats off to him. If we had just gotten that first goal, the second one would come. It just got later and later, with no goals."
The Colorado Rapids returned home to Dick's Sporting Goods Park and became the first victim of the reborn San Jose Earthquakes, going down to a 2-0 defeat Saturday night in Commerce City. The Rapids fell out of the top spot in the Western Conference with the loss, now with six points from four matches, in second place two behind FC Dallas.
The Earthquakes were back on the road for back-to-back matches after restarting their history with no points -- and no goals -- from their first two matches. The Rapids were back home after finishing off a two-game road swing with an impressive victory at the New England Revolution.
The Earthquakes owned the majority of the play and were rewarded two minutes before the halftime break. A pass from James Riley into space found Ronnie O'Brien outside the right corner of the box, and though Colorado goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul blocked his first shot, the Irishman was quickest to the rebound and potted it for San Jose's first goal since 2005.
Just after the hour mark the Earthquakes sealed their first victory. Ned Grabavoy went on a surging run down the right before slipping an inside through ball for Kei Kamara. He cut inside of a Rapids defender before lashing a low shot that bounced off the inside of the left-hand post and into the goal.
For the fourth consecutive match in the young season, Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo kept his starting team the same.
Here's Clavijo's team (4-4-1-1): Bouna Coundoul - Kosuke Kimura (Rafael Gomes 46), Facundo Erpen, Stephen Keel, Jose Burciaga Jr. - Terry Cooke, John DiRaimondo (Herculez Gomez 46), Nick LaBrocca, Colin Clark - Christian Gomez - Omar Cummings (Tom McManus 69). Substitutes Not Used: Kelly Gray, Jordan Harvey, Jacob Peterson, Chris Sharpe
"It was a total letdown as a team today, and I'm extremely disappointed, we all are," said Clavijo. "We never got possession of the ball. We started poorly. We were missing passes, not connecting enough. On the 50-50 balls we lost pretty much every single battle. Playing like that you're not going to get many results. We didn't have the same attitude to move the ball quick enough like we did the last three games."
The Earthquakes did a quality job of neutralizing the effect of Christian Gomez in the playmaking midfield role.
"Today was very clear - they took Christian out of the game, and our attack was not there," Clavijo said. "He was never a factor. They marked him very tight. Not only did they do a pretty good job, but it wasn't Christian's best game either. The touch was not there. He never had a chance to really look at a goal. I don't think he took a shot at goal. You have to give credit to their defenders for doing a pretty good job on him, but also Christian was off. Many of our players were off today."
After the opening 45 minutes, Clavijo completely changed his tactics. He brought off Kosuke Kimura, going with three in the back. He also put on Herculez Gomez to partner Omar Cummings as a pair of out-and-out strikers.
"In the first half there was no life, no energy, at least in the second half we showed signs of that," Herculez Gomez said. "It's very difficult to go with three at the back. We should have tried linking up, I don't think in the first half we had three passes together. As the second half went on we noticed that that wasn't going to work and we just started lumping it forward with 30 minutes to go. We lost the midfield this game; that was the key."
After a 1-0 victory on the road in New England, the Rapids were looking to build on that victory - and the 4-0 win against the LA Galaxy in their only previous home game, in the season opener.
"They seemed like they were the home team; they were more hungry," Rapids goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul said. "They're the ones that set the tempo. We ended up playing at their level, in their style, because from the get-go, they were possessing the ball, moving around, so we end up chasing, chasing, chasing until we were down one-nil."
It was also the hardest result on the season for Clavijo, who has relied on a large group of first- and second-year players through the opening month of the season.
"One of the things of leaning on younger players is that you expect that sooner or later it's going to drop, there's no question about it," Clavijo said. "We were prepared for it. But it was a total letdown as a team [Saturday]."
There could be changes for the Fire match. John DiRaimondo was forced off at halftime of the San Jose game with an ankle injury, and Nick LaBrocca suffered a crack to the nose later in the game.
"We never learned quick enough on the field," Clavijo said, pointing out the Rapids inability to adapt against the Quakes. "Nick LaBrocca and Johnny D were way too deep. The lines were not compact the way we were the first three games, and we paid the price."