Having strung together three straight wins entering Wednesday night’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Colorado Rapids appeared to be on the fast track towards gaining ground in the Western Conference table. But by night’s end, Colorado’s momentum was derailed with a 2-0 loss at BC Place.
Second half goals from Octavio Rivero and Cristian Techera helped the Whitecaps earn their first result against the Rapids this season, efforts which head coach Pablo Mastroeni attributed to a lack of concentration from his side.
“There’s no time to not be thinking and not be concentrating,” Mastroeni said postgame. “On those two goals, I felt like it could’ve been preventable. It wasn’t great buildup, it wasn’t great football; it was just lack of concentration on both sides of the ball.”
Lineup changes appeared to compound the Rapids’ issues, this time prompted by international call-ups and the absence of veteran presence Drew Moor (yellow card accumulation).
In place of Moor and Maynor Figueroa, who was called up to Honduras during the recent international break, Mastroeni opted for veterans Marc Burch and James Riley. It was the first start since early August for both players.
“I thought maybe I lost a bit of steam in the second half but in the first half I did a good job of sending in crosses,” Burch said. “Overall the performance was ok, but you can never say it’s good when you lose 2-0.”
“It’s a game of inches. You score that goal and we could’ve won 3-0,” Burch explained. “They’re a good counterattacking team and that’s what they did. Momentum swings and it was tough for us to get it back.”
It all came down to the finer details for Mastroeni.
“It’s always tough coming on the road especially on the turf and in this kind of atmosphere but I think we handled that part well,” he said. “What we need to do better is pass the ball better. We need to pass better, we need to combine better and make better decisions on both sides of the ball.”
Colorado will have two days to correct those issues before playing their next match at home against D.C. United (9 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
“It’s important that we start right,” Mastroeni said. “It’s important that we go there with the same kind of mentality and really take the game against D.C. in the early stages.”