Following Saturday night’s 3-2 loss to the Houston Dynamo, time has all but run out on the Colorado Rapids’ chances for a playoff berth. A strong point for much of the season, Colorado’s defense proved to instead be an Achilles heel, conceding three goals for the second straight week.
“We just made too many individual mistakes along the back line and too many poor decisions defending,” Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said post-game. “When you have that and you concede three goals, you’re never going to win the game.”
Yet despite finding themselves down a goal twice in the first half, Vicente Sanchez’s valiant effort on two separate equalizers kept Colorado in the game.
“Anytime he gets the ball, you know he’s dangerous,” teammate Jared Watts said of Sanchez. “It’s a big testament to him keeping us in the game, getting the ball, and being dangerous. We know we’re going to get that every time from a player of his caliber.”
“[Sanchez] was obviously a bright spot tonight,” Mastroeni added. “His contribution on the score sheet is obviously what kept us in the game.”
The effort by Sanchez continued even after Colorado again found themselves down a goal following a 47th minute strike by Brad Davis.
The Uruguayan nearly bagged a hat trick in the 78th minute with an on-target free kick which was denied by Tyler Deric. He also contributed defensively, providing a saving tackle on the ensuing counterattack by Houston.
“Defensively, his performance was one of the best performances tonight for the group,” said Mastroeni. “Unfortunately there weren’t enough of those performances, and the result reflected that.”
The result further dampened the Rapids’ lingering mathematical chances in the Western Conference playoff picture. But motivation will remain high in Colorado this week entering next weekend’s rivalry match against Real Salt Lake.
“We’ve got the Rocky Mountain Cup at stake, which is something to fight for,” emphasized Mastroeni. “We want to put together a good performance for our fans and, more importantly, win some silverware this year.”