Goalkeeping error costs Colorado Rapids for second straight week

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Just a week after Steward Ceus’ spectacular goalkeeping error cost the Rapids in a 1-0 loss in Dallas, it happened again.

It wasn’t nearly as pronounced as Ceus’ horrific blunder in Dallas, but Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens’ hesitation allowed the Philadelphia Union to grab the opening goal in their 2-1 win over the Rapids on Sunday afternoon, a troubling trend for a normally steady position for Colorado.

MATCH RECAP: Union punish Rapids for first win of 2013

In the 34th minute, Pickens appeared to hesitate on Sébastien Le Toux’s corner kick, allowing the ball to float over his head for Philadelphia’s Amobi Okugo to finish with an easy header and the 1-0 lead.

“[It’s an] old story for us,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said of the goal postgame. “It’s something that kind of stinks for a long period because it’s a place that you can control. We have to be accountable for that part, and coaches and players as well. It’s unacceptable for me.”

Pickens attributed his error post-game to a bad read on the delivery.

WATCH: Ceus error costs Rapids in Week 1

“It was a good ball in and it just stayed up a little bit higher than I thought it was going to, and I definitely felt I was out of position a little bit on that play,” Pickens told MLSsoccer.com post-game. “I felt maybe it was going to keep going and it didn’t keep going, [and] someone was there to pop it in there.”

Regardless of the source of the error, goalkeeping mistakes have been costly for the Rapids so far in 2013. Ceus’ mistake, where he let a long cross bounce over his head and in for the lone goal against Dallas, made SportsCenter’s “not-top-10” list this week and cost Colorado points.

But Pickens – consistently one of MLS’ leaders in saves – is leaving his error in the rearview mirror and believes that the goalkeeping errors are an anomaly.

“It’s a work in progress with us, and we’ve just got to keep working hard,” Pickens said. “We’ve got a lot of games ahead of us.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.

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