“It was just one of those days you want to forget about,” the young center back said of the team’s defensive woes on Sunday. “This is just one of those games you want to forget about. Move on.”
In Sunday’s snow-filled Rapids defeat, three second half goals, including two from ex-Rapid Marvin Chavez, doomed Colorado to the 3-1 loss. Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said the team’s defensive mindset in the second half was to blame, particularly after Erick Torres’ opener for Chivas in the 56th minute.
“I think we got lulled to sleep,” Mastroeni said postgame. “If we’re not sharp in the back, and we’re organizing and prepared for these moments, you’re going to get beat. And tonight, they waited for their opportunities and took good advantage of them.”
The Rapids aren’t a team that has necessarily struggled defensively this season. They’ve recorded a shutout in half their games so far this year. The problem has been their knack for giving up goals in bunches – they’ve allowed three or more goals in three games this season, including Sunday and the team admitted postgame they were caught pushing too far forward after Torres’ opener.
“It comes [down] to a mindset, and there were just some breakdowns,” center back Marvell Wynne said postgame. “And they just took advantage.”
Center back Drew Moor and left back Chris Klute, arguably two of the team’s best defenders, were both rested after Colorado played its third match in eight days. O’Neill said communication issues along the back line were, in his mind, one of the main factors that made Sunday a day to forget.
“At the end of the day, it just wasn’t good enough,” O’Neill said. “There’s one guy in the box, and there’s three of us in the box, [Torres] can’t be given a free header like that [in the opener in the 56th minute].”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.