From the opening whistle, something was off for the Colorado Rapids. Very, very off.
In their 3-0 loss to the New England Revolution on Wednesday night at Gillette Stadium, the Rapids put forth their poorest display of the season on both sides of the ball, allowing an early goal en route to their most lopsided defeat of the season (they also lost by three goals to Seattle in April).
That drew the harshest postgame assessment head coach Pablo Mastroeni has given in his first season as the Rapids’ coach.
“As an individual, as a coach myself, from top to bottom, it wasn’t good enough,” Mastroeni said of Wednesday’s performance. “We have to now feel what this feels like and ask ourselves some really good questions. This is not the team that we want to be.”
Missing the majority of their regular lineup due to a combination of injury and rest, Colorado struggled in nearly every facet of the game, failing to adapt to a physical brand of soccer the Revolution imposed from the get-go.
The defense, which had showed noticeable improvement the last two weeks, was torn apart by a club that hadn’t scored an open play goal in over a month, much to Mastroeni’s chagrin.
“It definitely looked like there was a team playing with a greater purpose tonight,” Mastroeni said. “We were late to the dance.”
That said, circumstances weren’t exactly aligned for a successful Colorado display in New England.
Facing a slew of injuries, forced to cross the country on short rest after a 3-0 win over Chivas USA on Friday and preparing for an all-important Rocky Mountain Cup clash against Real Salt Lake this weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, maybe the Rapids can be somewhat forgiven for Wednesday’s forgettable display – even if it did feature a red card, three goals allowed and hardly a chance on goal for 90 minutes.
But their leader offered no excuses.
“Everything from the preparation, the mindset, the desire to compete, none of it was there from top to bottom today,” Mastroeni emphasized. “These are games that you have to take something from. They’re going to happen.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.