Rapids Come up Short in 1-0 Loss to FC Dallas

Commerce City Colorado (Saturday June 23 2007)- Although the Colorado Rapids had some early scoring chances and a strong showing from goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul their offense stalled once more in a 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas in front of 16128 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

(To watch video highlights from this match click here).

The first of many threatening chances against the Rapids would come in the 15th minute when Rapids defender Ugo Ihemelu headed a ball back to Coundoul.The back pass to the Senegalese ‘keeper was propelled by a strong gust of wind that nearly forced the ball over the outstretched keeper’s arms and into the net.Coundoul however made the save with FC Dallas forward Carlos Ruiz in his face keeping the game scoreless.

In the 21st minute it was Ruiz creating yet another scoring chance when he slipped by Rapids defender Brandon Prideaux and into the Colorado backfield.The speedy Ruiz sprinted down the goal line before sending a pass across the mouth of the goal to teammate Dominic Oduro.Oduro’s shot which caught Coundoul out of his goal was blocked and cleared off the line by Ihemelu.

The Rapids found their offense in the 33rd minute when Conor Casey sent a low cross into the Dallas goal box.The pass found a streaking Herculez Gomez who raced in from the top of the penalty area to meet the ball.The shot off the right boot of Herculez was blocked by Dallas defender Clarence Goodson and cleared to midfield.

Colorado pressured early in the second half when Terry Cooke’s free kick from the right side of the penalty area in the 53rd minute found the head of Colorado midfielder Kyle Beckerman.Beckerman sent the ball low and to the far left post where the shot skipped just wide of the net.

While most of the chances went the way of the Rapids early in the half it was Dallas who capitalized. With a flick of the foot Ruiz chipped a pass across the box from the right wing and on to the foot of the Hoops’ Clarence Goodson.The close blast off Goodson’s foot was knocked aside by the diving Coundoul but not cleared to safety.Dallas’s Juan Toja took advantage of the loose ball and tapped in the rebound for the first goal of the game giving the visitors a 1-0 advantage.

Coundoul kept the Rapids hopes alive in dramatic fashion in the 74th minute when Ruiz found himself all alone behind the Rapids defense and one-on-one with the Rapids keeper.Coundoul set his sights on Ruiz as he dribbled into the goal box.Unmoved and unfooled by Ruiz’s fancy footwork Coundoul dove in and snatched the ball from Ruiz’s feet keeping the Rapids’ hopes alive.

With the Rapids’ defense pushed forward in the dying minutes of the game Dallas took advantage of an open Colorado back line.In a matter of minutes Coundoul was forced to make two diving saves off hard shots from Ruiz.Still with the offense pouring on the Rapids’ netminder he kept the ball out of the goal which allowed for one more Rapids scoring chance.

The chance the Rapids needed would come late in stoppage time as Herculez trapped a ball at the top of the 18 yard box and drilled a shot past the Dallas keeper and only inches wide of the net.The close miss capped off a night of frustration for the Rapids.

Next week the Rapids get a shot at redemption as they travel to WashingtonD.C. The Rapids take on DC United on Thursday June 28 at 5 p.m. MT at R.F.K. Stadium in a game televised live on ESPN2.
Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Bouna Coundoul

Scoring Summary:
DAL- Toja (unassisted) 53

Lineups:

Colorado Rapids – Bouna Coundoul Greg Vanney Ugo Ihemelu Mike Petke Brandon Prideaux (Roberto Brown 76) Terry Cooke Kyle Beckerman Conor Casey (Jose Cancela 37) Herculez Gomez Jovan Kirovski (Jacob Peterson 61) Nicolas Hernandez
Substitutes Not Used: Zach Thornton Dan Gargan Daniel Wasson Chris Wingert

FC Dallas – Dario Sala Drew Moor Clarence Goodson Alex Yi (Bobby Rhine 45) Chris Gbandi Pablo Ricchetti Marcelo Saragosa Juan Toja Arturo Alvarez (David Wagenfuhr 85) Dominic Oduro (Abe Thompson 61) Carlos Ruiz

Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse Michael Dello-Russo Ramon Nunez Aaron Pitchkolan

Misconduct Summary:
DAL – Ricchetti (Caution) 38

COL- Petke (Caution) 39

DAL- Gbandi (Caution) 66

DAL- Goodson (Caution) 79

DAL- Sala (Caution) 83

COL- Ihemelu (Ejection) 94+

Referee: Richard Heron

Referees Assts.: Corey Rockwell Frank Anderson

Fourth Official: Tim Weyland

Attendance: 16128