By virtue of San Jose’s 2-1 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night, the Colorado Rapids locked up their first trip to the postseason since 2011. But they won’t be going into Wednesday or Thursday’s Knockout Round match with much in the way of momentum following a shellacking in their regular-season finale.
In Sunday night’s 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place, the Rapids came out flat and lifeless, much to the disappointment of head coach Oscar Pareja.
“When you lose a game like that, you can’t say that we came out prepared,” Pareja told reporters in Vancouver postgame. “It didn’t happen today for many lapses of the game, and we paid for that.”
The loss was the Rapids’ third straight on the road, and over those three games Colorado haven't scored a single goal while conceding five times over that span.
The worries on Sunday night mostly came from the defensive side of the ball, where Camilo preyed on Colorado’s backline to register his league-best 20th, 21st and 22nd goals of the season. Camilo’s hat trick means that the Rapids will enter postseason play having allowed five goals in their last two matches -- a concerning total for a defensive unit that’s been mostly solid for much of this season.
“It’s disappointing, obviously,” Rapids defender Drew Moor told reporters postgame. “We almost played like a team that was just satisfied to be in the playoffs, and that’s unacceptable at this point.”
The Rapids were without two of their key midfielders, with Rookie of the Year candidate Dillon Powers (concussion) and veteran standout Vicente Sanchez (shoulder) out through injury. But that won’t be an excuse for Pareja & Co., who will have to do a full 180 from their Sunday performance or face an ever-so-brief postseason trip.
“I normally don’t look at who is not in the lineup,” Pareja said. “We have built this team with a different mentality, which is just think about the players who perform and how we can get it better.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.