The mid-summer night’s offensive explosion that propelled the Colorado Rapids up the standing seems to have disappeared as the winds of the autumn begin to blow.
For the second game in a row the Rapids failed to find the net, suffering a 1-0 loss at the LA Galaxy on Friday night thanks to Landon Donovan’s 36th-minute goal.
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Colorado head coach Gary Smith said he is looking at two wins out of the remaining five regular-season games for his team to get into the playoffs, but wasn’t worried about the recent lack of goals.
“The [2-0 loss] in Chicago was disappointing, but it was on the back of a run of games and it was always going to be difficult coming here,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com. “We are not the first team to come here and find it difficult.”
Smith described his team’s first half performance as “below par.” He was forced to make an early tactical change when he withdrew Macoumba Kandji for Sanna Nyassi in the 39th minute as the Rapids struggled to make it out of their own half against an LA team pressing high upfield, peppering the Colorado net with shot after shot.
“The saving grace was that we were still in the game,” Smith said about entering the break down just 1-0. “[Goalkeeper] Matt [Pickens] was outstanding. The second half display was much better and we looked a lot more comfortable in possession while the changes we made gave us an edge.”
The big change was bringing Omar Cummings on as a substitute in the 69th minute after his two games in a week for the Jamaican national team, shifting to a 3-4-3 and threatening the Galaxy at least a bit.
Even so, they rarely troubled LA ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts, and had to rely on several more fine saves from Pickens to keep the 1-0 score.
Colorado next host Santos Laguna of Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday followed by another MLS league game on the road in Toronto on Saturday. They’ll have reinforcements on hand as new signing Miguel Comminges, a Guadeloupe international who can play on both the right and left side of defense, will be available.
Smith said he had been tracking Comminges for a while through links with Cardiff City. Comminges played 31 games for Cardiff in 2008-2011 before finding himself out of contract.
“He came in a month ago [on trial] and did really well,” Smith said. “It will give Drew [Moor] and Kosuke [Kimura] some respite and strengthen that back four.”