When Claudio Lopez came on as a late second-half substitute for his Colorado debut with in MLS league play, it was perhaps a last throw of the dice for someone to create a story for the visiting Rapids at San Jose Saturday night.
The Argentine former World Cup player did provide some quality touches in his cameo. But it was maybe asking a bit too much for a player who has only recently worked his way to something approaching match-fitness to offer that one spark that had evaded his teammates all night.
Despite all their possession, Colorado failed to create much of any significance all night and ended up falling to a more-than-frustrating 1-0 defeat to a disputed goal from San Jose.
You couldn’t fault the Rapids for effort, and they controlled this game in terms of possession. But they were never able to create anything of any significance for all their hustle and bustle. They may have had more of the ball, but the Earthquakes had the edge on shots on goal, five to two.
Colorado head coach Gary Smith has lamented the fact that the Rapids had only conceded goals from set pieces before Saturday night. He won’t be much happier now after his team conceded its first goal in open play from a lucky touch by Chris Wondolowski, who looked to be in an offside position.
After all the euphoria of the win in New England last week, and the heralding of the start of a new era in road performance by the Rapids, one could be forgiven for thinking same old story.
But it might be better to chalk this one up to one of those games that make no real sense and to come away with the positives. The team dominated on the road despite the result and Lopez looks a great purchase as an impact player off the bench.
The team won’t let this defeat get it down. They surely believe they were the better XI on the field. Nothing to do but to throw the cleats at the locker room wall, shower and get home to face the rampaging LA Galaxy.
Los Angeles, who won again Saturday night thanks to two goals from Edson “Are you watching, Bob Bradley?” Buddle, face the Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wed., May 5. The Rapids cannot wait for that one after Saturday’s frustration.