Caleb Calvert experiences night of highs and lows in Colorado Rapids loss

CHESTER, Pa. — Kevin Doyle summed up fellow Colorado Rapids striker Caleb Calvert’s night pretty well.

“It’s something he won’t forget,” Doyle told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s a game he won’t forget.”

He certainly won’t — for both good and bad reasons.

After scoring the first MLS goal of his career, the 20-year-old striker was sent off in the 69th minute following two quick yellows — the first for dissent and the second for re-entering the field of play from behind the goal and without getting clearance from the fourth official following an injury exit.

Both Calvert and Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni declined to address the media after the game, but the frustration of the team seemed clear after the Philadelphia Union rallied for a 2-1 win over the 10-man Rapids.

“I had a quick conversation with the fourth official,” defender Eric Miller said. “Essentially they told me they were trying to tell him to stay off the field. How many people were here tonight? 20,000? And the referee was 60 yards away? It’s gonna be tough to hear him probably. That’s something PRO should maybe look at and do a better job with in the future.”

The tough ending for Calvert was especially difficult because the former Chivas USA Homegrown was enjoying a breakout game in what was only the third start of his five-year MLS career. Not only did he open his MLS account for a team that desperately needs goals, he also was holding his own physically against a Union backline that had a four-game shutout streak coming into the night.

“I thought Caleb played fantastic,” Miller said. “He had a terrific goal. His hold-up play was great. He was dangerous all night. He got beat up by [Jack] Elliott and [Oguchi] Onyewu a lot and still was super dangerous.

"I don’t think it was really his fault on the red card. The referee can maybe do a little better job of saying, ‘Hey, go to their side and come on again’ instead of just two quick yellows.”

Doyle was equally disappointed for Calvert’s night to come to an end the way it did.

“It was a fantastic goal from him,” Doyle said. “He’s been playing excellent as well, apart from the goal. He’ll be disappointed but it was a genuine mistake. He was just running on. It’s not the end of the world. It was a genuine mistake. He’s young. Perhaps it should have been a case of, ‘All right, send him back off to come back on the halfway line’ and that’s the end of it. No controversy.”

In the end, however,  the Rapids — stuck in last place in the Western Conference with just seven points through 11 games — didn't catch such a break.

“Nothing’s going our way right now,” Miller said, “so I think we’re pretty used to calls like that.”