Tuesday's Reserve League loss to Dallas was the team's second in row - the opposite of the 2-0 start the group has enjoyed in MLS regular season play. In the first game, the Reserves surrendered a late goal in Houston to fall 1-0. Yesterday, they gave up a goal with five minutes to play to lose to Dallas 1-0 at home.
ColoradoRapids.com caught up with Rapids Reserve team coach Wilmer Cabrera to get his assessment of the first two Reserve League games:
How do you evaluate the first two Reserve League games - by the individual, the team performance, or the result?
Wilmer Cabrera: "What we're looking at is the team, first. Then we look at how the team is conformed - by the 11 players doing the right things, doing their responsibilities, and also what they bring to the game for the team.
The two games we've had, we've seen good things: improvement in possession, good shape. But, still, we lacked possibilities to finish the game. In soccer, everything can be good until you put the ball in the net, and we still don't have that sharpness. We didn't look that hungry to start scoring goals and to put the ball away from either opponent.
We have to continue working. It's a process to see individuals, to see trialists, development academy players, and to make players compete to see if they can be on the first team. It's been positive. You always want to win, but we have to see where we're going in the complete package for the first team."
Does having two shots cleared off the line by Dallas affect a offensive mentality:
Cabrera: "The thing that we have to insist on is that we have to create more of those chances. If we don't put only two - if we put 5 or 6 balls right there, that's when it's going to happen. One of those 5 or 6 chances will go in. But if we only count on 1 or 2 chances? No, we have to show that desire and hunger to be more active and to be more of an attacking team where we look to put all those passes, the shape, the pressure, the hard work into goal scoring situations."
How do you compare the first two games?
Cabrera: "The first game we had a little bit more possession and a few more opportunities. But in some ways, they exactly the same. We had the ball, we had more possession, but we could not move into or create options, and we didn't put the ball in the net.
Last week, (Houston) only had one opportunity, this week, (Dallas) created a few more options. When they noticed that we didn't finish, they took it. You give the ball and options to good players, they're going to start gaining confidence. We created that with our lack of finishing and our lack of intensity to finish the play. They created 2-3 plays, and at the end, they capitalized on one."
What's the message to the players with two more Reserve Games in the next few weeks?
Cabrera: "We have to continue working. This was the second game for me coaching the reserves, for us it's been only two months in this process. Yes, it's good to win, but sometimes you don't discover all the difficulties and all the issues that you have to fix. When you lose, they're going to realize that we have to work harder, we need to put more emphasis on everything, and we need to be a little bit sharper working throughout the week. So when we have to step on the field, we're going to be a better team, and better players individually."