Colorado Rapids coach Gary Smith may have superstitiously worn his shirt and tie for the second straight game, but the fancy dress wasn’t enough to secure a second consecutive win.
Instead, they picked up another point in a 1-1 draw against a Philadelphia Union side that looked the more likely to take all three points on the day.
HIGHLIGHTS: Philadelphia 1, Colorado 1
The result is the fourth 1-1 draw in the Rapdis’ last seven games. They have still won only once since the World Cup break.
Jeff Larentowicz, coming home to his native Pennsylvania for the first time in his pro career, did his best to help secure three points for Colorado with a bullet of a shot from just outside the penalty area in the 59th minute. The ball crashed past goalkeeper Chris Seitz and into the far right corner, a sweet moment for Larentowicz, who acknowledged the cheers and dancing from his many friends and family in the stands at PPL Park.
But just as it seemed the Rapids were confidently heading towards a morale-boosting win on the road, Danny Mwanga ruined the party in the 73rd minute.
“I thought we were quite comfortable,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “Defensively, we looked very decent—we limit teams to very little—and I thought we limited them today to very little, especially in the second half.”
From the equalizer on, it was largely Philadelphia who pressed in a bid to find a winner. The Rapids all too often seemed to lose possession in dangerous parts of the field as the Philadelphia fans got behind their team, sensing the opportunity to get all three points.
“There were one or two little mistakes as the momentum shifted,” Smith said. “Some choices to play out of tight areas weren’t so good, but, all in all, we are a little disappointed not to get all three points ourselves.”
The Rapids did have a good chance in the 81st minute with some nice work from Pablo Mastroeni and Omar Cummings. Mastroeni, who late in the game passed Chris Henderson to become the club leader in career minutes played, picked up the ball just outside the Philly area. He could have shot with his left but hesitated at the crucial moment. His pass across the goal could not be reached by a Rapids player.
The silver lining in the disappointing draw was the return of striker Conor Casey, who had not played in the previous two Rapids’ games after injuring his head on July 25th. The side’s leading scorer this year subbed on in the second half.